Mumbai, Sep 27 - The Nationalist Congress Party - Thursday ordered party activists across the state to stop agitations and protests in the wake of the resignation of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar from the Maharashtra cabinet.
In a statement here this afternoon, NCP state president Madhukarrao Pichhad also asked his partymen to desist from submitting mass resignations and holding public demonstrations to express solidarity with Ajit Pawar.
Ajit Pawar is our beloved leader. His resignation is purely an internal matter of the NCP. Party chief Sharad Pawar will take a decision on it. Under this circumstance, all party workers must maintain calm, Pichhad said.
He said a message must go out that the party is fully united behind and whole- heartedly with Sharad Pawar and Ajit Pawar. For this, all forms of agitations must end forthwith, Pichhad added.
Ajit Pawar's resignation last Tuesday evoked widespread protests among party workers in many parts of Maharashtra, including Yavatmal, Aurangabad, Nashik, Pune and Baramati, and they demanded it - should not be accepted.
In some places, the activists burnt effigies of Congress leader and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan. In some civic bodies, they resorted to mass resignations to express solidarity with Ajit Pawar.
At a crucial meeting in Mumbai Wednesday, hundreds of party workers demonstrated and raised slogans demanding that Ajit Pawar be reinstated.
Ajit Pawar quit the state cabinet Tuesday evening throwing the ruling Congress-NCP coalition in the state into a crisis.
The resignation came amid allegations that Pawar had arbitrarily doled out irrigation contracts worth over Rs.20,000 crore when he was the water resources minister between 1999 and 2009. Pawar had rejected all allegations against him and expressed readiness to face enquiry by any agency in the matter.