Millennium Post

Sharad Pawar accepts nephew’s resignation

Curtains came down on the 72-hour political crisis in Maharashtra on Friday, with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar accepting the resignation of the deputy chief minister of the state Ajit Pawar. The party will now inform Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan to accept his resignation, Sharad Pawar said.

The union agriculture minister, however, turned down the resignations tendered by 19 other NCP ministers. They will resume their duties as usual from Sturday, he added. 'We will request Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to accept and forward [Ajit Pawar's] resignation to the governor,' Sharad Pawar told the media after a day packed with hectic meetings.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra unit of the Congress said tjat there would not be any adverse impact of Ajit Pawar's resignation on the 13-year-old Congress-NCP alliance in the state. 'Ajit Pawar had said while resigning that he won't accept any post till charges against him are cleared,' said the state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre here this evening.

Ajit Pawar had sent his resignation on Tuesday to Chavan in the wake of the allegations that he arbitrarily doled out irrigation contracts worth over Rs 20,000 crore between 1999 and 2009 when he was the water resources minister of the state. All 19 NCP ministers in the state also followed suit and tendered their resignations to the state party chief Madhukarrao Pichad, sparking off a crisis in the Congress-NCP coalition government.

Sharad Pawar said the state government should bring at the earliest a white paper on the money spent on irrigation in the state.

He said although the party's rank and file wanted Ajit to reconsider his resignation, '[Ajit] stuck to his stance that he would not be part of the government till the white paper was released'.

The NCP chief denied any rift within the family.
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