Mumbai: NCP on Friday said that its leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's controversial remarks on drought and load-shedding were a "closed chapter", and he would not resign.

"For us, it is a closed chapter. Ajit Pawar has already apologised and there is no question of he resigning," state NCP chief Madhukar Pichad told reporters after a party meeting, attended by party supremo and Union Minister Sharad Pawar and his daughter, MP Supriya Sule, among others.

Pichad said MNS president Raj Thackeray had made worse comments publicly in  the past. "Opposition is playing politics over Ajit Pawar's remarks and NCP will respond to it politically," Pichad said. Amid clamour for resignation from the opposition, Ajit had said on Thursday that he would take the decision on the matter only after consulting party legislators.
"It is very unfortunate," Sule said when asked about the opposition parties' targeting of Ajit Pawar. When asked about the deadlock in the state legislature with opposition stalling proceedings to demand Ajit's resignation, Sule said, "It is a state issue. I have full faith in Speaker Dilip Walse-Patil who is capable of handling it."

Meanwhile, ruling coalition partner Congress said it was for the NCP to take a call. Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Manikrao Thakre said earlier in the day that "it is for the NCP to decide", when asked if Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan would ask his deputy to put in papers.


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