‘Resignations tendered by NCP Ministers will not be accepted’

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said the party would continue to support the Congress-led governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra and the resignations tendered by the party’s Ministers in the Maharashtra government “will not be accepted.”

“We have told them that their resignations will not be accepted, they will have to work there and run this government in the future,” Mr. Pawar, who is also the Union Agriculture Minister, told journalists on the sidelines of a meeting he chaired in connection with the Centre’s scheme of Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India.

Mr. Sharad Pawar said the NCP Legislature Party meeting on Wednesday requested Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar to reconsider his decision to resign. He said the final decision on the matter would be taken by the NCP president.

“Today, the Legislature Party meeting was held and they [the members] requested him [Ajit Pawar] to re-consider his resignation,” Mr. Sharad Pawar said.

“I have already said there is no question of withdrawing. There is no question of discontinuing. We will continue with this government. We do not want instability. We will work for stability,” Mr. Sharad Pawar asserted.

He refuted the criticism that the developments were merely pressure tactics on the part of the NCP.

Explaining the reasons that prompted Mr. Ajit Pawar’s resignation following allegations of irregularities in the irrigation sector, Mr. Sharad Pawar said the demand for a White Paper on the matter had been made and Mr. Ajit Pawar believed it would be better if he were not in the government when it was prepared.

Calling the resignations given by the other NCP Ministers “reactions,” Mr. Sharad Pawar said: “There was nothing wrong in the reactions. In the reactions they express their feelings. But the decisions are taken by the senior leadership of the party after due deliberations,” he said.

Asked about the significance of Mr. Ajit Pawar’s meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee, who withdrew support from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the Centre last week, he said “personal equations will have to be maintained”.

“The Trinamool were once our colleagues. As of today, they have decided to leave the UPA as there were differences over policies. The Trinamool has every right to work for their policies. We also have every right to continue with our policies,” Mr. Sharad Pawar said.

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