Amid clamour for his resignation over controversial remarks on drought, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar Thursday said any decision on the issue would be taken only after consulting party legislators.
NCP leader Ajit Pawar with party leaders after a meeting in Mumbai on Friday. PTI/Santosh Hirlekar
"When I resigned the last time, it was my personal decision. However, this time I will take a decision only after talking to the MLAs who have selected me as their leader," he told reporters at Phaltan in Satara district.
Ajit, nephew of NCP chief and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar, was asked about the Opposition's demand for his resignation following his remarks that have kicked up a huge controversy in the state.
Opposition BJP and Shiv Sena have been gunning for Pawar over his crass "urinating-in-the-dam" statement over water scarcity being faced by farmers of drought-hit Maharashtra despite his repeated apologies and admission that it was "one of the biggest mistakes in my political life."
Even Sharad Pawar sought to cool down tempers by apologising on his nephew's behalf.
However, the apologies failed to cut ice with the Opposition which stalled proceedings of the two Houses of the state legislature for three consecutive days demanding an apology from chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and sacking of his deputy.
Ajit Pawar had resigned in September last year after media reports accused him of being involved in an alleged multi-crore irrigation scam in Vidarbha region when he held the irrigation portfolio between 1999 and 2009.
He was, however, reinstated barely 10 weeks later after a white paper brought by the government gave him a clean chit.