Ashok Chavan Asks Supporters to Wait & Watch Till 2024 Polls Before Jumping to BJP, Chalks Out Strategy | Exclusive

Ashok Chavan Asks Supporters to Wait & Watch Till 2024 Polls Before Jumping to BJP, Chalks Out Strategy | Exclusive


Veteran leader Ashok Chavan’s move to the BJP dealt a blow to the Congress and it was expected that Congress MLAs supporting him would also jump ship ahead of the 2024 elections. However, sources have told News18 that for now, no leaders will be joining BJP.

Chavan, considered a big catch for the BJP, was awarded with a Rajya Sabha seat and asked to get his MLAs to the saffron party. But sources say those supporting the ex-Congress leader may join him before the state assembly polls which are slated to happen later this year.

As of now, Chavan has adopted a wait-and-watch stand for his 10-13 supporters who are ready to join the Mahayuti. The source also indicated that Chavan has chalked out a plan for his camp as per which leaders who do not have a problem changing their secular ideology to ‘Hindutva’ can get easy entry into the BJP but those who want to keep their secular credentials intact to maintain their vote bank can join the Ajit Pawar-led NCP. By doing so, Muslim MLAs and leaders won’t have to face any backlash in their constituencies.

News18 reached out Mahayuti leaders, but they did not want to comment on the matter.

Chavan, the second CM after Narayan Rane to join BJP, has a stronghold on the Marathwada region and a few constituencies of the Vidarbha region.

Sources also said Chavan has asked his supporters to wait till the Lok Sabha elections as he does not want his supporters to jeopardise their political career in case BJP and its allies fall short of forming the government. Chavan does not want his MLAs to be on the back foot and expects a ticket for all of them during the upcoming state assembly elections to avoid infighting in the alliance.

Commenting on the developments, senior journalist and political observer Sanjay Jog said: “Many Congress MLAs fear what will happen if the party or MVA don’t come to power? They will get elected as MLAs but the issue of development in the constituency will not be served as they may not get funds for the same. In such a scenario, voters’ perception will go against them which will further hamper their future elections. Many Congress MLAs also have fear of central agencies so they are in favour of joining BJP but that may happen before state assembly elections. Many Congress leaders may face the hurdle of toeing a secular line which is why they may follow the route that Baba Siddique, who joined NCP, adopted.”

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    first published: February 19, 2024, 14:01 IST

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