Will continue to support Maha govt: Pawar

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 26, 2012 17:23 hrs

Union Agriculture Minister and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday said his party will continue to support the Maharashtra government.

"There is no question of withdrawing support. We will continue to support the Congress government in Maharashtra," Pawar told media here.

Pawar made the comments a day after Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar resigned from his political chair over an alleged irrigation scam, plunging the ruling Congress-NCP coalition in the state into a crisis as his resignation was followed by the exit of all other NCP ministers.

Several NCP MLAs on Wednesday rallied behind Ajit and shouted slogans outside the Maharashtra Assembly on Wednesday claiming innocence of the leader.

The protesters, who are supporters of Ajit, shouted slogans that said: "We are with you."

The demonstration took place at a time when NCP MLAs held a meeting at the Vidhan Bhavan.

The NCP legislators, meanwhile, passed a resolution in the meeting urging Ajit to withdraw his resignation, reports said.

Senior NCP leader Praful Patel said there was no question of replacing Ajit as the NCP legislature party chief.

"No question of replacing Ajit Pawar as the NCP legislature party chief. He will continue," Patel said.

Reports said the party has authorized Sharad to decide the future course of action after Ajit´s resignation.

Ajit stepped down from his position over an alleged scam in the irrigation department.

While NCP said the resignation was in accordance with a high moral ground, many in political circles also see it as a division in the NCP led by Sharad Pawar, who is Ajit´s uncle.

NCP has ruled out any power struggle between Ajit and Sharad but what fuelled speculations is that all NCP ministers followed suit and resigned after the deputy chief minister stepped down.

NCP told reporters that there was no threat to the government of Prithviraj Chavan from the resignations though the latter reportedly had suggested a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the irrigation scam.

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