With a truculent Opposition clamouring for his resignation, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has come out in firm support of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and senior leader Ajit Pawar, stating that his resignation was out of the question.

“Mr. Pawar has already apologised … the issue ought to be closed. But certain persons are intent on politicising the matter and prolonging it to gain illicit political mileage,” NCP State president Madhukar Pichad told The Hindu.

Incidentally, NCP chief Sharad Pawar was in the city in the backdrop of the furore raging over his nephew’s comments on water crisis.

Mr. Sharad Pawar conferred with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan at an intensive meeting at the State guesthouse ‘Sahyadri’ and also presided over a meeting of his party leaders earlier in the day.

The Opposition parties have demanded that Mr. Chavan apologise for his deputy’s insensitive remarks.

While Mr. Sharad Pawar did not speak on the issue after his meeting with Mr. Chavan, his daughter Supriya Sule earlier said that the matter (of Ajit Pawar’s resignation) was an internal affair of the NCP.

Speaking on the sidelines of a two-day workshop of Congress spokespersons, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress (MPCC) president Manikrao Thakre reiterated that the Congress had nothing to do with the affair and that there was no question of Mr. Chavan tendering an apology, especially after Ajit Pawar had already apologised thrice.

It was for the NCP to decide on Mr. Ajit Pawar’s resignation, said Mr. Thakre.

Earlier, Mr. Ajit Pawar had said that he would consider such a move only after consulting his party legislators. He has been facing flak from the Opposition as well as from farmer organisations across the State after his remarks on the ongoing water crisis at a public function on April 6, wherein he crassly commented on whether one should urinate as there was no water in Maharashtra’s dams.

Mr. Pawar’s offensive comments have deadlocked proceedings in both Houses of the Legislature, with no business being transacted for three consecutive days.