By Sanjay Jog
Maharashtra Congress on Thursday expressed solidarity and faith in the leadership of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, and downplayed the resignation of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) veteran Ajit Pawar as deputy chief minister. To the relief of the Congress, NCP chief and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said that the chapter of Ajit Pawar’s resignation was over, and there was no stability problem for the Congress-NCP government in the state.
At an informal meeting held at the chief minister’s official residence, Varsha, Congress ministers and legislators decided not to aggravate the situation. Chavan and state Congress chief Manikrao Thakre asked party ministers to stay calm and not to make any provocative statements. Party ministers and legislators have been asked not to leave Mumbai for the next two days and keep in constant touch.
Chavan and Thakre said the situation would become normal soon. Chavan told Business Standard, “Today's meeting was informal and we took stock of the situation.”
NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s meeting with party legislators and leaders on Friday is likely to be a mere formality as he has already announced that the chapter of Ajit Pawar’s resignation was over. The NCP chief has also indicated that he would not relent to the demand made by NCP ministers and some legislators that Ajit Pawar withdraw his resignation and continue to work as the deputy chief minister. However, according to sources, Sharad Pawar will ask NCP’s 19 ministers to take back their resignation, submitted to state party chief Madhukar Pichad. Pawar has clarified that Ajit Pawar’s resignation would be accepted by the NCP.