Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, whose surprise resignation from the post on Tuesday has had the state's politics in turmoil, denied on Wednesday evening that any "rift" existed between him and his uncle, NCP chief Sharad Pawar.

"This (report of rift) is a creation of media. He is the supreme leader of the party, and his decision (on the resignation) will be final," Ajit said.

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But when asked if he would withdraw the resignation -- which followed media reports on an alleged scam in the irrigation department when he held the portfolio -- if his uncle asked him to, Ajit did not respond.

Earlier in the day, NCP legislators passed a resolution in a meeting, calling on Ajit to withdraw the resignation (which the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan has not accepted yet). It was also decided that Sharad Pawar would take the final decision in the matter.

MPCC convenes meeting of its legislators

The Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) has convened a meeting of its legislators on Thursday, to be chaired by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.

"All legislators have been asked to attend tomorrow's meeting which will be held at 'Varsha', the Chief Minister's official residence," MPCC chief Manikrao Thakre said.

He said that he requested Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) president Madhukar Pichad to restrain his partymen from burning posters of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and to stop staging agitations.

Speaking on the current political crisis in the state he said, "The whole matter is about the NCP. We are watching the developments as an audience," he added.

He rubbished reports saying that no complaints have been received to replace Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan with anybody else.

Sharad Pawar rejects resignation of NCP ministers

As a damage control mode, Nationalist Congress Party chief and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar decline to accept the resignations of the ministers who were tendered the resignation in support of Ajit Pawar.

Talking to reporters in Kolkata, the Maratha strongman said, "After much thought, we have told them (other ministers) that their resignations would not be accepted. You have to work and you have to continue to run the government."

Ajit Pawar resigned on Tuesday in the wake of his alleged involvement in irrigation scam of Rs 20,000 crores during his ten year tenure as water resources minister between 1999 to 2009. Nineteen other party ministers also offered to quit in solidarity.

(JPN/Agencies)

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