Ashok Chavan, the senior Maharashtra Congress leader and former state chief minister who quit the party on Monday, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday in the presence of deputy CM and party leader Devendra Fadnavis.
"Today it's a new beginning of my political career. I am formally joining the BJP in their office today...I am hopeful that we will work for the constructive development of Maharashtra," Chavan had said on Tuesday before his joining.
Ashok Chavan's exit comes as a big blow to the Congress for which the senior leader was considered one of the most prominent figures in Maharashtra.
Ashok Chavan is the second big Maharashtra Congress figure to quit the party in a week. Last week, Former Maharashtra minister and Congress' Muslim face in Mumbai, Baba Siddique, had quit the party and joined NCP.
Reacting to Ashok Chavan quitting the Congress, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis said Several tall leaders of other parties want to join BJP.
"Especially, several Congress leaders are in touch with us because of the behaviour of the senior leaders. They are feeling suffocated in their party...Who all are in our contact that will be revealed soon. Aage aage dekhiye hota hain kya," Fadnavis said.
Ashok Chavan served as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra from December 2008 to November 2010. He has also served as Minister for Cultural Affairs, Industries, Mines and Protocol in the Vilasrao Deshmukh government. Chavan is also a former PWD Minister of Maharashtra.
On November 9, 2010, the Congress Party asked him to resign from office over corruption allegations relating to Adarsh Housing Society scam. The Adarsh Housing Society scam pertains to the 31-storey apartment complex built in Colaba in South Mumbai for 1999 Kargil war heroes and war widows.