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Ashok Chavan’s Exit Skews Cong Maharashtra Rajya Sabha Maths

The exit of former CM Ashok Chavan from the Congress party just on the eve of Rajya Sabha elections and the buzz about his imminent switch to the BJP along with some MLAs has stunned party circles in Delhi. It has also led to a delay in the release of Rajya Sabha list for probable contests across the states. What Chavan’s exit has done is that it has diminished the prospect of bagging at least one RS seat from the state. “Neither Abhishek Singhvi nor Raghuram Rajan wanted to be from Maharashtra,” revealed a Congress leader. Before Chavan’s exit, the Congress had prided itself in the fact that with 44 MLAs, it was the single largest party among the Opposition parties. All that could soon become history if more legislators troop out of the party to help BJP clinch a minimum of 3 to 4 MPs and the NDA about 5 of the 6 vacancies from the state. Party sources said the AICC was anticipating Chavan to move out because of legal proceedings in the Adarsh housing case. The BJP surely did not need Ashokrao as it had convincingly wrested Nanded Lok Sabha seat from him in 2019. So what was the big idea? Congress sources feel Ashokrao’s grip on Nanded zilla parishad has made him a formidable leader. As a Maratha leader from Marathwada, Ashokrao could be an asset to the BJP. Yet it remains to be seen if he would be immediately accommodated in the RS. After all  Doon-school educated  RPN Singh, a Kurmi leader had waited patiently for two years to get a RS seat from UP.