Nagpur: The sulking Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Katol Ashish Deshmukh on Tuesday resigned from Legislative Assembly. He announced that he will quit the party after acceptance of his resignation from Assembly membership.
Deshmukh sent his resignation to Speaker Haribhau Bagde through fax. He will go to Mumbai on Wednesday and personally hand over his resignation to Speaker. Talking to Nagpur Today, Deshmukh said “At present I have quit the Assembly not the party. I will decide further course of action once my resignation from Assembly is accepted. I will meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi and discuss him with issues of Vidarbha,” he said and hinted he will not be in the BJP at the next Assembly elections.
Asked about the timing of his resignation from Assembly, Deshmukh said that the entire nation is celebrating 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi today. “We have to walk on the path shown by the Father of the Nation. The present government is disrespecting the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi. Farmers are distressed, youths are jobless. The government has failed on all fronts. The condition of farmers of Vidarbha is worse. In the situation I cannot perform being in the party,” he said.
Soon after quitting BJP, Deshmukh proceeded to meet Congress President Rahul Gandhi who is currently attending CWC meeting at Sewagram. Even though he has not quit the party he may do so today itself after meeting Rahul Gandhi and join Congress.
Ashish Deshmukh became MLA for the first time on a BJP ticket by defeating his uncle Anil Deshmukh from Katol constituency. Deshmukh had many times criticised his party’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over a host of issues including farmers’ problems, reservation to Muslims and other issues. He said that his faith in the BJP and Fadnavis had eroded. He said he had written to the Chief Minister demanding a separate Vidarbha however Fadnavis had not responded to it.
For the last two months, Deshmukh has been seen constantly criticising his party’s government on various issues. First, he spoke about farmers’ suicides in Vidarbha and how the Fadnavis government had failed to keep its promise. Later, he demanded that the government make its stand clear on a separate Vidarbha.