Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: Maharashtra Congress in-charge Ramesh Chennithala on Tuesday slammed former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan for quitting the party and joining the Bharatiya Janata Party and said that he should clarify his stand.
He further went on to say that those "who wish to leave the party for selfish gains and are feeling pressure from the ED and CBI are free to go".
Addressing a press conference after holding a meeting with party leaders, Chennithala said that as a political leader, he needs to explain why he took this decision when the party gave him everything.
"No one apart from Ashok Chavan will leave the party in Maharashtra. Congress is united and will work under the leadership of Kharge Ji. Ashok Chavan should clarify his stand. As a political leader, he needs to explain why he made this decision when the party gave him everything. People are watching him.
What is the pressure on him? Is it being the pressure of ED? He must answer. Congress will become stronger now; we will not be affected," he said.
"No one will leave Congress, but those who want to leave for selfish gains and under pressure from the ED and CBI are free to go," he added.
Chennithala further said that it is on the agenda of the BJP to weaken the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) as they know that it will emerge victorious in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
"Congress gave him everything. We have given him free hands to discuss the seat-sharing. What else is expected? He never complained to me about anything; he was our face in Maharashtra. But he left the battlefield and ran away. What more could a party do? We have given him the power to make decisions," he said.
Also issuing a warning to other MLAs, the Maharashtra Congress in-charge said that if anyone tries to cross the party, he will be expelled.
"Looking ahead to Lok Sabha Polls, if any MLAs cross, he will be expelled from the party. He will be suspended for six years and will not be able to fight elections again. We are confident about the Rajya Sabha Polls. Ashok Chavan knows it that's why he resigned; otherwise, he would have been expelled," Ramesh Chennithala said.
"Don't worry, we have the numbers and are confident with Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP. Ajit Pawar did a scam of 70,000 crores, he was inducted into the BJP, and now he is clear. Is BJP a washing machine, I want to ask this?" he added.
Meanwhile, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan on Tuesday announced his decision to join the Bharatiya Janata Party asserting to work for the "constructive development of Maharashtra".
Calling it a "new beginning" in his political career, Ashok Chavan said, "Today it's a new beginning of my political career. I am formally joining the BJP in their office today. I am hopeful that we will work for the constructive development of Maharashtra."