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Maharashtra BJP MLA quits, cites 'corruption' in Rafale deal as reason


Mumbai, Oct 3: A day after he met Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Wardha, BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh Wednesday resigned from the Maharashtra Assembly, citing alleged corruption in the Rafale deal as the reason.

BJP MLA Ashish Deshmukh

Deshmukh had Tuesday announced his decision to quit as MLA and submitted his resignation to the Assembly Speaker Wednesday. Deshmukh, who represented the Katol constituency in the Vidrabha region, is likely to join the Congress which he had quit before the assembly polls four years ago, sources close to him said.

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In a statement issued Wednesday evening, Deshmukh said schemes such as Make in India, Magnetic Maharashtra (the BJP-led state government's investment summit) and Skill India "showed no results on the ground".

"Also, there is mega corruption in the Rafale deal," he alleged. On his meeting with Rahul Gandhi Tuesday, Deshmukh said, "Youths have a lot of expectations from him."

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Deshmukh said BJP leaders had reneged on the promise of creating a separate state of Vidarbha. "When I launched a hunger strike for creation of Vidarbha in 2013, BJP leaders Nitin Gadkari, Devendra Fadnavis and Vinod Tawde assured me of carving out a separate state once the BJP came to power.

They did not keep the promise and did nothing for betterment of Vidarbha," he said. Meanwhile, a BJP leader said Deshmukh's resignation may not be accepted immediately as the party wants to avoid a by-poll to the seat ahead of the Winter Session of the state legislature starting next month.


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