Deshmukh alleged that his resignation was deliberately not accepted in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections in four states.
Nagpur: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Ashish Deshmukh from Katol, who had tendered his resignation from the membership of state Legislature on October 2, on Saturday dropped sufficient indication that he might contest on a Congress ticket from the Nagpur Lok Sabha constituency against the incumbent BJP heavyweight and Union minister for transport and shipping, Nitin Gadkari.
Though Mr Deshmukh’s resignation has not been accepted formally by the Speaker Haribhau Bagde, and he is yet to formally join Congress, he has thrown his hat in the ring.
“When I could fight against my own uncle Anil Deshmukh in the 2014 Assembly elections from Katol constituency and defeat him, why I should be reluctant to fight against Mr Gadkari, for whom I have the highest regard,” said Mr Deshmukh.
He indicated that he would formally join the Congress during Navratri. Accompanied by his father Ranjeet Deshmukh, a former cabinet minister from Congress, the BJP MLA met Congress president Rahul Gandhi on October 2 during a public rally.
Mr Deshmukh alleged that his resignation was deliberately not accepted in view of the forthcoming Assembly elections in four states. “The news of the resignation of a BJP MLA will have a negative impact on the election campaign,” he said. After sending his resignation letter to the Assembly speaker, he even met him and pressed for its acceptance. The delay has prompted him to wait to quit the BJP.
Technically, unless the resignation is accepted by the Speaker, one cannot leave party, or it attracts the provision of the Anti-Defection Law.
While resigning from the Assembly, Mr Deshmukh blamed the BJP for not initiating sufficient steps to provide relief to common man and backtracking on the issue of a separate Vidarbha.