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Sep 28, 2012 at 04:17pm IST

NCP chief Sharad Pawar meets Ajit Pawar to defuse Maharashtra crisis

Mumbai: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar met his nephew Ajit Pawar and senior NCP leaders ahead of the party legislators meet to resolve the political crisis in Maharashtra. Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule and Union Minister Praful Patel were also present at the meeting. This was the first meeting between Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar after Ajit Pawar resigned as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.

Sharad Pawar will take a decision on the resignations of the other NCP ministers on Friday. He is likely to reject the resignations of the 19 other ministers who put in their papers after Ajit Pawar quit as Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister. Pawar had told the IBN network that Ajit Pawar's resignation has been accepted and there will be no going back on that.

Sharad Pawar may also meet the Chief Minister to discuss the prevailing political situation before the NCP legislature party meeting.

In the last four days, Chavan has been meeting legislators and party leaders and is in touch with Sharad Pawar and the Congress leaders in Delhi. The NCP legislature party meeting is likely to bring curtains down on the four-day drama. Chavan is likely to accept Ajit Pawar's resignation after the NCP meeting on Friday.

The NCP legislators met on Wednesday and passed a resolution asking Ajit Pawar to take back his resignation. Ajit Pawar's supporters also shouted slogans outside the meeting venue.

Maharashtra Chief Minister has not yet accepted Ajit Pawar's resignation. Chavan met Congress legislators in a bid to solve the crisis on Thursday.

There were reports of NCP activists burning Chavan's effigies and taking out demonstrations in some parts of the state. Congress took strong objection to this, following which state unit president Madhukar Pichad issued a statement asking his party activists to stop the protests.

Ajit Pawar had resigned on Tuesday as the Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra over allegations of irregularities in 32 irrigation projects.

The NCP suspects that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan was behind the "leak" of "damaging information" to the Opposition which found its way to the media and exposed the irrigation scam.

"In the age of RTI Act, nothing can remain under wraps," Congress sources said.

(With additional information from PTI)