New Delhi: Amidst raging stand-off between the major UPA allies-Congress and Sharad Pawar led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) allegedly over denial of number 2 position in the union cabinet , Union Minister and NCP leader Agatha Sangma, daughter of presidential candidate PA Sangma who was backed by some opposition parties, has offered her resignation from the post of Minister of State for Rural Development, sources said.

The sources say, Agatha met NCP chief Sharad Pawar and offered to quit the party as well as her ministerial berth. It is believed that Pawar was upset over Agatha’s father PA Sangma contesting presidential election after relinquishing his party membership.

NCP had declared to support UPA nominee Pranab Mukherjee for the top constitutional post and Sangma throwing his cap in the ring was seen by the NCP leadership as defiance of the party stand.

The sources also claimed that immediate reason behind Agatha’s decision to offer resignation came after she was asked by the party not to attend her office.

It is also believed that Pawar was upset with the presence of Agatha in the Ministry as he wished to induct his own daughter and MP Supriya Sule in the Union Ministry. The veteran NCP leader has always been working harder to get Sule inducted into the cabinet but it has been put on hold for long by the Prime Minister.

The talk in party circles was that Agatha could be facing trouble with the NCP leadership receiving complaints against her from party units in Chhattisgarh and Odisha that she campaigned for her father.

Reports had it that the Agatha issue was likely to come up before the NCP meeting.

Agatha is a member of the Lok Sabha from Tura, a seat represented by her father several times.

A party leader, however, sought to give a different twist to Agatha's offer. He said that Agatha told Pawar that she would follow the party line after he and Praful Patel decided to pull out of the government and support it from outside in protest against the way the party was treated by Congress.

NCP sources said that Pawar will not be attending the dinner being hosted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tonight in honour of outgoing President Pratibha Patil.

JPN/Agencies

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