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HindustanTimes Sun,27 Jul 2014

Pawar's resignation won't affect Cong-NCP ties: CM

PTI  Mumbai, September 29, 2012
First Published: 16:12 IST(29/9/2012) | Last Updated: 19:48 IST(29/9/2012)

Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Saturday said the resignation of his deputy Ajit Pawar from the state cabinet will not affect the Congress-NCP ties.

"I met Sharad Pawar, Ajit and Praful Patel last night to discuss the issue. The government will work effectively and there will be proper coordination in the government and between both the parties. Congress-NCP ties will remain strong," Chavan said.

He said the state will not have a deputy chief minister.

Higher education minister Rajesh Tope has been given charge of the energy portfolio earlier held by Ajit Pawar, while rural development minister Jayant Patil has been handed over the finance department.

Chavan also declined to comment on probe into the allegations of corruption in the irrigation department and on the white paper over the issue, as announced by him.

Earlier in the day, Maharashtra governor K Sankarnarayanan accepted Ajit Pawar's resignation.

Chavan met the governor and handed over Pawar's resignation.

"The governor has accepted Ajit Pawar's resignation as recommended by the chief minister," a Raj Bhavan spokesperson told PTI.

The crisis in the Congress-NCP coalition government in the state, triggered by the surprise resignation of Ajit Pawar, came to an end on Friday after party chief Sharad Pawar asked Chavan to accept it and directed 19 other ministers who had also stepped down to resume office.

Mounting a major fire-fight, the NCP boss had held a series of meetings with party leaders and legislators to bring the curtains down on the dramatic developments, which began on Tuesday with the sudden resignation of Pawar.

Divisions had surfaced in the party with national leaders like Union Minister Praful Patel favouring acceptance of Ajit Pawar's resignation and the legislators wanting him to take it back.

However, Pawar Sr, had been consistently maintaining that there was no threat to the 13-year Congress-NCP coalition in the state which was caught in the throes of a turmoil after Ajit Pawar stepped down.

The 53-year-old nephew of Sharad Pawar, had resigned following media reports about his alleged involvement in a Rs. 20,000 crore scam when he held the irrigation portfolio between 1999 and 2009.


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