Updated February 13th, 2024 at 20:29 IST

As Ashok Chavan Joins BJP, Questions Arise Over 'Once Graft-Tainted' Leader's Political Legacy

The 65-year-old politician, who's rather infamous for being ‘graft-tainted’, was warmly welcomed into the BJP-fold at the party's Mumbai office.

Digital Desk
The 65-year-old politician, who's rather infamous for being ‘graft-tainted’, was warmly welcomed into the BJP-fold at the party's Mumbai office. | Image:PTI (File photo)
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Mumbai: As Lok Sabha 2024 elections draw closer, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Tuesday switched political sides by joining the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Mumbai, just a day after he parted ways with the Congress in the state – a party he was associated with, for nearly four decades. The 65-year-old politician, who's rather infamous for being ‘graft-tainted’, was warmly welcomed into the BJP-fold at the party's Mumbai office in the presence of key figures, including Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

Son of the former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Union Home Minister SB Chavan, Ashok's decision to align with the BJP emerges amid speculation that he might be given the Rajya Sabha ticket, news agency PTI reported.

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Responding to a question on whether he had received any communication from the Congress top brass – Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Chavan chose to evade a direct response.

'Adarsh Scam Was a Political Mishap; It's a Non-issue Now'

Addressing concerns raised by Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut regarding the Adarsh scam, Chavan defended himself, stating, “The Bombay High Court's decision favoured me. I view it as a political mishap. Although certain agencies have contested the court's ruling, I have endured enough and consider it a non-issue now.”

'Ashok Chavan's RS Nomination Will Amount to Disrespecting Martyred Soldiers'

Former Chief Minister and Shiv Sena (UBT) president Uddhav Thackeray also raked up the Adarsh housing scam to target Chavan, saying, “If the BJP sends him to the Rajya Sabha, it will amount to disrespecting martyred soldiers”.

Earlier during the day, Thackeray again took a jibe at Chavan and said that instead of going to the BJP, he should have gone and met with the farmers in Marathwada, who have been affected by the unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm.

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Addressing a public rally at Sonai in Ahmednagar district, Thackeray reportedly said that the Adarsh scam was forgotten, but Chavan's recent political move has brought it back into limelight.

Ashok Chavan's involvement in the Adarsh Housing Society scandal, where a high-rise structure was allegedly erected on a disputed land without due approvals, has been a contentious issue.

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Despite speculations linking the scandal to his exit from the Congress, Chavan has maintained that his decision was self-directed and not influenced by any past controversies.

 

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Published February 13th, 2024 at 20:29 IST