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Devendra Fadnavis trying to break up Congress, calling our MLAs: Ashok Chavan

Fadnavis refuted the allegations, saying that the state Congress chief was frustrated.

mumbai Updated: Jun 08, 2019 01:11 IST
Surendra Gangan
Surendra Gangan
Hindustan Times
mumbai,Lok Sabha,Devendra Fadnavis
Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan (centre) at a meeting on Friday.(HT Photo)

Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan on Friday alleged that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and other senior BJP leaders were trying to break up the Congress party in the state, ahead of the Assembly polls scheduled for later this year. Fadnavis refuted the allegations, saying that the state Congress chief was frustrated.

“Fadnavis is trying to break up the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections. He has been in contact with our MLAs, asking them to join the BJP. He and some leaders who recently quit our party call up our MLAs regularly. Some of the legislators get overwhelmed after getting calls from the CM. But I am sure none of our legislators will fall for this,’’ said Chavan.

This week, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, senior Congress leader and former leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, quit the party. He is expected to join the BJP and state cabinet next week. There has been speculation that five to ten legislators may quit the Congress to join the BJP. At least five of these MLAs have been in touch with Vikhe Patil, according to sources.

Chavan spoke on the sidelines of a state Congress review meeting of the Lok Sabha elections at the party office in Dadar. The party could win only one seat. The sole seat was won by a former Sena leader, who joined Congress ahead of the polls.

Fadnavis said, “Chavan is talking out of frustration. In fact, no one wants to remain in the party [Congress]. BJP has a strong party base, thanks to support from the people. We do not need anyone from outside. It is true that people from other parties are approaching us, but we will induct only those who deserve it.’’

Meanwhile, in the meeting, local leaders from Marathwada and North Maharashtra put up their views about the strategy that needs to be followed for the Assembly elections.

Chavan said some of the district presidents, including from Nanded, his home turf, submitted their resignations, claiming moral responsibility of the defeat in the elections. Chavan lost from his Nanded seat to BJP’s Prataprao Chikhlikar. The NCP performed marginally better, winning four Lok Sabha seats.

First Published: Jun 08, 2019 01:08 IST