Mumbai, Sep. Sep 28 (IANS) Curtains came down on the 72-hour political crisis in Maharashtra with NCP chief Sharad Pawar accepting the resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar here Friday. The party will now inform Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan to accept his resignation, Sharad Pawar said.
"We will request Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan to accept and forward (Ajit Pawar's) resignation to the governor," Sharad Pawar told the media after a day packed with hectic meetings.
Ajit Pawar sent his resignation Tuesday to Chavan in thE wake of allegations that he arbitrarily doled out irrigation contracts worth over Rs.20,000 crore between 1999 and 2009 when he was the water resources minister of Maharashtra.
All 19 NCP ministers in the state also followed suit and tendered their resignations to state party chief Madhukarrao Pichad, sparking off a crisis in the Congress-NCP coalition government.
Sharad Pawar said the state government should bring at the earliest a white paper on the money spent on irrigation in the state.
He said although the party's rank and file wanted Ajit Pawar to reconsider his resignation, "he (Ajit Pawar) stuck to his stance that he would not be part of the government till the white paper was released".
"Ajit Pawar made it clear that till the time the white paper comes, he will not be part of the government. Other ministers will be back to their work," Sharad Pawar said.
The NCP chief, uncle of Ajit Pawar, denied any rift within the family.