With a clear indication from Congress high command that Prithviraj Chavan would not be replaced as the Maharashtra chief minister following pressure from the Nationalist Congress Party, Chavan is now trying to garner support from his party legislators in his fight against the ally.
Chavan told senior ministers and legislators on Wednesday that the Congress would wait and watch for NCP's next move, and it was up to NCP to decide on deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar's resignation.
"I have not got any formal communication from the NCP on anything except the resignation letters. We are ready to talk if there are any issues," Chavan told HT. He also said he was in touch with the Congress top brass on the issue.
Sources close to CM said that he tried speaking with Ajit on Wednesday but the NCP leader refused to answer his calls.
"Chavan said that he did not stop NCP from publishing a white paper on irrigation department. He wants NCP to stop blaming him for delaying the document and ask NCP workers to stop street protests against him," said a senior Congress minister, requesting anonymity. "CM's only concern is that the irrigation potential calculated by the NCP does not match up with that of the Congress-led revenue and agriculture departments."
Chavan would meet Congress legislators on Thursday and appeal them to support him for he has achieved what his predecessors could not ever since the two parties came to power together in 1999 – he has managed to push the NCP to the wall and run for cover to defend allegations of corruption.
"Despite knowing that his detractors want him out because of his transparent ways of functioning, the CM would appeal them to respond to high command's directive and step up their fight against NCP," said a Congress general secretary.
"NCP started the tussle and we expect them to end it. We have decided to not react to their allegations. We have nothing worry because the NCP has decided against destabilizing the government by not accepting resignations of ministers other than Ajit Pawar," said another minister.
State Congress president Manikrao Thakre said that the CM was in touch with NCP boss Sharad Pawar and Congress high command. "We will resolve the issue amicably," he told reporters.