New Delhi: Sulking NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Monday skipped the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the honour of outgoing President Pratibha Patil.

Besides the Agriculture Minister, his party colleague and Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel was also not present at the dinner.

The dinner was attended by many UPA Ministers.

On Thursday after polling in the President's election, Pawar sent a missive to the Prime Minister wanting to quit the government. The party said it had a number of issues over the way the UPA government functioned and denied that No 2 status for Pawar in the Cabinet was behind the current standoff.

Earlier in the day, the NCP Working Committee discussed the options in the wake of party chief's communication to the Congress leadership expressing a desire to quit the government along with another minister Praful Patel on issues like better functioning of the coalition.

NCP, however, made it clear after the meeting that it would support the UPA "till the very end".

"As far as the UPA is concerned, we have made it clear we are part of the UPA and will continue to support the government and the UPA till the very end," Patel said after the meeting.

(Agencies)

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