Ajit Pawar quits as deputy CM of Maha; all NCP ministers offer to quit
Maharashtra Deputy CM Ajit Pawar resigns following allegations of irregularities in clearing projects as irrigation minister. NCP ministers offer to quit, but party supremo Sharad Pawar says no.
As a sign of support to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister & NCP leader Ajit Pawar, who quit from his post earlier in the day, all NCP ministers in Maharashtra government offered to resign.
But apparently NCP chief Sharad Pawar shot down the idea and even issued a media statement saying, "NCP ministers won't resign".
Ajit Pawar who had resigned from his post over allegations of an irrigation scam was soon supposedly joined by all NCP Ministers in Maharashtra submitting resignations to state party chief Madhukar Pichad. NCP spokesman Mahesh Tapase informed this.
"I am resigning from my ministerial posts and am not withdrawing support from the government. The NCP still backs the Congress, he said.
"I am just an MLA now. won't accept any ministry or post till I am cleared of all allegations. If I did not resign, people will think I am guilty and did not want to give up my political posts," Pawar added.
Pawar has said that he has sent his resignation to CM Prithviraj Chavan, but will continue as leader of NCP legislature party.
Pawar sent his resignation letter to the chief Minister instead of to his Nationalist Congress Party chief and uncle Sharad Pawar, who is Union Agriculture Minister.
NCP today came out in full support of embattled Ajit Pawar, and said there was no threat to the state government it runs in alliance with Congress.
"There is no threat to Maharashtra government," NCP Vice President Praful Patel told reporters here adding the party would not de-stabilise the government.
He said Ajit would continue to be the leader of NCP legislature party in Maharashtra and that no other minister would resign from the state government.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar said he had given "permission" to Ajit to resign from his post.
The Union Agriculture Minister told PTI over phone from Kolkata that Ajit, who is his nephew, had called him yesterday and sought permission to quit from the post. Ajit had held the portfolios of Finance and Power in the state government headed by Prithviraj Chavan.
Ajit resigned as Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister following allegations of irregularities in clearing irrigation projects worth Rs 20,000 crore during his tenure as Water Resources Minister between 1999 and 2009 without clearance of Governing Council of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation.
The NCP supremo said Ajit felt it was improper for him to continue in office while allegations against him were being probed.