'House is intact': Maharashtra Congress forced to clarify after purported meeting between Ashok Chavan and Devendra Fadnavis

The trigger was a purported meeting between the former chief minister Ashok Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the residence of their common associate on Thursday on the occasion of Ganpati festival.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Friday, September 02, 2022, 09:21 PM IST
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PTI

The Congress party, which is struggling to keep its relevance in Maharashtra politics, on Friday was forced to clarify many times that the party was intact and it was not on the verge of a split.

The trigger was a purported meeting between former chief minister Ashok Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis at the residence of their common associate on Thursday on the occasion of Ganapati festival.

After TV channels started showing news about Chavan and six others are likely to part ways with the Congress to join the BJP, legislative party leader Balasaheb Thorat in a video denied these reports saying that Chavan has been a senior colleague and they were currently involved in the planning and execution of Bharat Jodo Yatra which will pass through Maharashtra.

At the same time, Chavan’s office clarified that no meeting took place between the former chief minister and Fadnavis while ruling out his defection. State Congress party chief Nana Patole said it has been Maharashtra’s tradition to meet and greet party leaders from different ideologies saying that interaction between two leaders does not mean that leader will immediately switch to the other party.

Fadnavis at Pune said, "Ashok Chavan had not met me. As I had reached for Ganapati darshan, Chavan had also come there. After he left the venue, I had reached."

Thorat said, "The media reports regarding the senior Congress leader and my colleague are false, mischievous and misleading. Ashokrao is active in planning Bharat Jodi Yatra. Together we are determined to strengthen the Congress party in Maharashtra.’’

Patole pointed out, "No Congress leader will leave the party."

However, few Congress leaders during the off the record conversation referred to the cross voting by 7 party legislators during the state council elections held on June 20 in which the party nominee Chandrakant Handore faced a humiliating defeat. Although a veteran party leader Mohan Prakash had conducted a probe the party high command is reportedly reluctant to initiate disciplinary action fearing defection.

Further, Chavan along with 10 legislators were absent during the trust vote moved by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde in the state assembly on July 4. Even though, these legislators have clarified that it was not intentional but a section of the legislators believe that a plan is being hatched at the behest of BJP for a split in the near future.

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