Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has said that there is no going back on Ajit Pawar's resignation as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Sharad Pawar also told IBN Network that his family was united and there were no differences.
Sharad Pawar said that Ajit Pawar took the decision after speaking to him and that he gave the go ahead to him to resign. He also said that the resignation was Ajit Pawar's personal decision. He also said that there was no need for the other NCP ministers to resign.
This comes even as the NCP legislators passed a single line resolution on Wednesday asking Ajit Pawar to withdraw his resignation. Ajit Pawar supporters in the NCP on Wednesday came out to protest outside the state Assembly building, blaming Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for the crisis.
The Congress, however, made it clear that Chavan would stay as the Chief Minister, even as NCP chief Sharad Pawar said his party would support them.
The NCP maintained that it was not on them, but up to the Congress to decide on the whether there would be a leadership change in Maharashtra. "Whether to recall Prithviraj Chavan to Delhi or change the Chief Minister is up to the Congress," said Sharad Pawar.
While his nephew's resignation as the Deputy CM may be aimed at forcing the Congress hand to recall Chavan on the eve of the Cabinet reshuffle at the Centre, many also believe that this has brought the leadership tussle brewing in the NCP out in the open.
Despite Sharad Pawar's public statement that no minister or MLA would resign, several MLAs, both from the NCP and Independents, threatened to withdraw support if Ajit Pawar was replaced as Deputy CM.
The party leadership also clarified that Ajit Pawar would not be replaced.
Senior party leader Praful Patel said, "This is rubbish. Ait Pawar will not be replaced."
The numbers in Maharashtra:
The ruling Congress-NCP combine has 171 MLAs in the Assembly, placing it comfortably over the half-way mark. If the NCP withdraws, the government will fall short of majority by 36 MLAs.
Total - 288
Half way - 145
Congress (82) + IND (27) + NCP (62) = 171
Ruling alliance - NCP = 109 = 36 Short of majority