Senior Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam has claimed that the “working style” of a party leader from Maharashtra upset former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and ultimately led to his resignation from the party.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Nirupam stated, “Ashok Chavan was definitely an asset for the party. Some are calling him a liability, some are holding ED responsible, all this is a hasty reaction. He was basically very upset with the working style of a leader from Maharashtra.”
He claimed Chavan informed the party leadership about his concerns, but they weren’t addressed, leading to his decision to quit the Congress.
Nirupam lamented the loss of Chavan, describing him as a resourceful and skilled organiser with a strong grassroots connection, whose absence would be irreplaceable for the party.
Chavan’s abrupt departure is a significant blow to the Congress ahead of crucial Lok Sabha polls. It follows similar decisions by other senior Maharashtra Congress leaders like Baba Siddique and Milind Deora. Chavan is set to join the BJP.
Following his resignation announcement, Chavan said his decision to leave the party was a personal one, and he does not want to ascribe any reason to it. He dismissed any connection to the white paper on the Adarsh Building scam, which led to his resignation as Chief Minister in 2010.
Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, without naming Chavan, said that an exit by “betrayers” could provide opportunities for others whose progress may have been hindered.
“When friends and colleagues leave a political party that has given them much – perhaps much more (than) they deserved – it is always a matter of anguish,” he said in a post on X. “But to those who are vulnerable, THAT Washing Machine will always prove more attractive than ideological commitment or personal loyalties,” he added.
“These betrayers don’t realise that their exit opens up vast new opportunities to those whose growth they have always stunted,” Ramesh said.
The news of Chavan’s exit did not entirely surprise state party leaders, given the rumours circulating over the past few months about his potential departure.
“Voters will teach those who deserted them a lesson,” said former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The senior Congress leader also said he was unaware of the compulsion due to which Ashok Chavan left Congress. “This is an unfortunate decision. Never thought a person like him would take such a step,” Prithviraj Chavan added.