Nationalist Congress Party chief and Union Minister Sharad Pawar on Saturday admitted that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s remarks on the acute water crisis in the State were “utterly improper and wholly inappropriate,” but said the drawn-out controversy should end as his nephew had already apologised for his comments.

“Anyone holding a seat of power must be extra careful about what they say on issues that particularly concern the lives of common people. I think his [Ajit’s] stand on the issue was wrong,” Mr. Pawar told reporters in Thane. However, once a person realised his mistake and apologised, the matter should be laid to rest, he said.

Mr. Ajit Pawar’s remark, at a public function on April 6, “whether one should urinate as there was no water in Maharashtra’s dams” deadlocked proceedings in the Legislature for the better part of last week, with the Opposition demanding his resignation.

Mr. Sharad Pawar, while rebuking Mr. Ajit Pawar, also said any action against his nephew would be the prerogative of the entire NCP and not only of the legislators.

Illegal constructions

To a question on the recent building collapse at Mumbra, in which 74 people died, Mr. Sharad Pawar came down on illegal constructions and nefarious contractors. No one, not even his own partymen, would be spared if it was proved that their hands were dirty, he said.

The name of NCP MLA from Thane Jitendra Awhad has cropped up in connection with illegal constructions.