Ashok Chavan joins BJP

Mumbai, Feb 13 (UNI) Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, who resigned from the Congress party and as an MLA on Monday, joined BJP in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and state party president Chandrashekhar Bawankule here.

“I am starting a new political career,” said Chavan after joining BJP.

He attended BJP Mumbai office along with Fadnavis and Bawankule. After arriving at BJP office, Bawankule requested former Congress leader to sign a primary membership form.

With Chavan switching sides to BJP, it is considered as a big blow to the Congress ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

“Today is a very happy day for us, as one of senior leaders of Maharashtra has come to us,” said Fadnavis.

“Chavan, who has dominated the country’s Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha for many years, and held various ministerial posts and whose career we have witnessed as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra twice, is joining BJP is proud moment for us,” said Bawankule.

Being the son of former Maharashtra chief minister and Union Home Minister Shankarao Chavan, Ashok Chavan tried his best to maintain political legacy of his father. Like his father, Ashok Chavan went on to become the chief minister of Maharashtra.

He started his political career as chairman of Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana in Nanded city of Marathwada in 1985. At age 30, he defeated Prakash Ambedkar in elections. He was an MP from 1987 to 1989, however, he was defeated in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections.

He was nominated to the Legislative Assembly in 1999 and was elected. After that, his career continued to soar. After holding various portfolios in the cabinets of Sharad Pawar and Vilasrao Deshmukh, he took oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra in 2008.

However, during the 2009 assembly elections, Ashok Chavan was accused of giving paid news for a supplement called Ashok Parva and showing it as election expenses. Then, his name cropped up in scam of Adarsh housing society, which was built for the widows and dependents of Kargil war heroes, consequently, he had to resign as chief minister.

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