Deshmukh's fate hangs in balance | india | Hindustan Times
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Deshmukh's fate hangs in balance

india Updated: Dec 03, 2008 13:26 IST

The fate of Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who has offered to resign in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, hangs in balance as the Congress party grapples with the issue of leadership change in the state.

While no decision has been taken on his offer, Congress sources said he is still not out of the woods.

Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony are expected to meet NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the evening. Pawar's NCP is a major coalition partner in the Maharashtra government.

Congress is grappling with the issue of leadership change, with a section said to be even wondering whether there was such a need as Lok Sabha elections are not far away.

"No decision has been taken. Discussions on the issue would continue," Defence Minister A K Antony had said on Tuesday after day-long discussions between leaders, including Deshmukh, who had met Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

During the meeting with Gandhi, Deshmukh had again offered his resignation in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks and told her that he would abide by whatever decision the party takes.

The Chief Minister has returned to Mumbai on the direction of the party high command.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader R R Patil had on Monday put in his papers owning responsibility for the attacks in Mumbai.