Mumbai: A question mark has been put on the fate of the Democratic Front government in Maharashtra Tuesday as all Nationalist Congress Party ministers have offered to resign from their posts.
The move came hours after party leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar quit the cabinet following allegations of improprieties in the irrigation department when he was the water resources development minister for ten years between 1999-2009.
Soon after his decision to quit, a section of NCP legislators clamoured for exiting from the government, breaking the alliance with the state Congress and extending it support from outside. All 19 other NCP ministers in the 43-member council of ministers offered their resignations to state NCP chief Madhukarrao Pichhad.
However, NCP chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, who is Ajit Pawar's uncle, and Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel declared in New Delhi that the party would not quit the state government.
They assured the Congress that the NCP would not "destabilise" the state government and would also not walk out of the alliance in the state and the central government.
Even Ajit Pawar, addressing the media Tuesday, said there would be no threat to the state government by his decision to quit the cabinet.
Caught completely unawares, the Congress top brass, including Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and state party chief Manikrao Thakre, chose to keep mum on the fast-paced political developments that gripped the state.