Ashok Chavan, the former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, joined the BJP on Tuesday, a day after he quit the Congress party. Earlier today, speaking to reporters, Chavan had said, "I am joining the BJP today at its office in Mumbai. Today is the beginning of my new political career."
Asked if he received any calls from senior Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Chavan evaded a reply.
The former Chief Minister, however, maintained that he had not contacted any Congress workers or his supporters to join him during his induction into the BJP.
A video showed Ashok Chavan being welcomed to the party by Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
Reacting to the development, Fadnavis today said, "We are very happy to welcome the stalwart leader of Maharashtra who worked on both the Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha, who served as Chief Minister of Maharashtra and in several ministries."
"I appeal to our state president, Bawankule, to accept Ashok Chavan as a primary member of the BJP, by signing the party form."
(Ashok Chavan paid 500 rupees for a membership).
Ashok Chavan (65), son of former Chief Minister SB Chavan, on Monday underscored that his choice to depart from the Congress was independent and refrained from attributing specific reasons for his exit.
His exit from the Congress came days after senior Maharashtra Congress leaders Baba Siddique and Milind Deora quit the party.