Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Tuesday brushed aside criticism that "tainted" ministers have been retained in the reshuffle.
In politics, Opposition levels all kinds of allegations, but until proved legally, they have no meaning, Pawar told reporters here.
"In the UPA government, allegations have been made against ministers and even in 1995, allegations were made against Sharad Pawar," he said.
When asked if the NCP list of ministers has his stamp, Ajit said it is wrong to presume like that. "I was not aware of the new entrants till late last night. Pawar Saheb informed me last night to forward the names of ministers whose resignations have been accepted and the new list of those to be sworn-in," he said.
No particular MLA is close to me. All decisions are taken by (NCP Chief) Sharad Pawar, he said.
Ajit said Madhukar Pichad is the senior most leader in the party who has been reinducted into the government while the rest are new faces with one to two terms as MLAs.
When asked about the new state NCP unit president, Ajit said, "Sharad Pawar has asked the ministers to be in government only. I thought R R Patil would be entrusted with the job of state president. But Pawar Saheb is of the view that a fresh young face to lead the party should be chosen. All the decisions including reshuffling portfolios will be taken by him."
Meanwhile, Opposition leaders stayed away from the swearing in ceremony in which five NCP MLAs and one Independent legislator were inducted into the state government by Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan here today as a part of the reshuffle exercise.