Ajit Pawar's resignation issue is over for NCP: Sharad Pawar
MDT/PTI 27 September 2012

The party chief will attend a meeting of the NCP legislature party at 4pm on Friday and is expected to announce his final decision on Ajit Pawar's resignation

Mumbai: The exit of Ajit Pawar from the Maharashtra government on Thursday appeared certain with Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar saying the issue of the Deputy Chief Minister's resignation is over for the party.


At the same time, the NCP chief said the offer of resignation of 19 other Ministers of the party in the state has not been accepted.


He saw no threat to the stability of the Maharashtra coalition in which his party has been a major partner for the past 13 years.


Maintaining that the decision to resign as Deputy Chief Minister was taken by Ajit himself , Sharad Pawar told PTI that after the party leadership gave Ajit "permission" to step down after due consideration, he handed over the resignation letter to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.


"After that, the issue of the resignation is over for the NCP," the party chief said, noting that Ajit had wanted to put in his papers so that there should not be any doubt about he is pressurising anybody on the white paper on irrigation projects, an idea floated by the Chief Minister.


Amid the continuing stalemate over the resignation of Ajit Pawar, the NCP chief and Union Minister is arriving in Mumbai on Friday and is expected to take a final call on the issue.


Pawar will attend a meeting of the NCP legislature party at 4pm tomorrow, party sources said on Thursday.


A meeting of NCP legislators had yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution requesting Ajit Pawar to take back his resignation.


They also authorised party chief Sharad Pawar to take a final decision on the issue which will be binding.


"When a leader takes a step, then his supporters react and his supporters have reacted. There is nothing wrong with that. But it is the job of senior leaders to take a sensible decision on time in moments like this," the party chief had said.


"After much thought, we have told them (other Ministers) that their resignations would not be accepted. You have to work and you have to continue to run the government," the Union Agriculture Minister said in Kolkata.


Top NCP leaders are in Kolhapur today to attend the funeral of party veteran and former state Assembly Speaker Babasaheb Kupekar.


Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan held a series of informal meetings at 'Varsha', his official residence, with Congress leaders and legislators on the prevailing political situation.


State Congress chief Manikrao Thakre also met party office bearers and workers at the state party office to apprise them of the developments.


Congress sources speaking on condition of anonymity said there is no need for the party to convene a formal meeting of office bearers or legislators because no decision is required to be taken now.


"The only decision that is to be taken by Chavan is on accepting Ajit Pawar's resignation. This will be done after he talks to Ajit Pawar and Sharad Pawar," the sources said.


In an indication of a division in the party on Ajit Pawar's resignation, NCP legislators yesterday requested him to withdraw it, while Sharad Pawar's close aide and Union Minister Praful Patel said it should be accepted.


However, everybody has maintained that Sharad Pawar's decision will be final.


Talking informally to the media, Ajit Pawar had last night rejected suggestions of a rift between him and uncle Sharad Pawar.


"This (reports of rift) is a creation of the media. Sharad Pawar is the supreme leader of the party and his decision (on the resignation) will be final," he said but refused to comment when asked if he would withdraw the resignation if asked by the NCP supremo.

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