Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) workers and functionaries in Pune on Tuesday evening urged party president Sharad Pawar to immediately withdraw his resignation from the top post as they broke down on coming to know about his sudden announcement.
They said they will resign en masse if Pawar (82), whose hometown Baramati is located in Pune district in western Maharashtra, does not take back his resignation which was announced in Mumbai in the afternoon.
Pradeep Deshmukh, Pune NCP spokesperson, said after the news of Pawars resignation trickled in, hundreds of workers gathered at the party office in the city and could not stop their tears.
He said the NCP is like a family, where Pawar is a father figure and such leaders do not retire.
“If Pawar saheb does not reverse his decision, party workers and office-bearers will remain firm on their resignation,” Deshmukh said.
Meanwhile, Vitthal Maniyar, an aide of Pawar, said the former Union minister’s move to step down as president of the party he founded in 1999 was not abrupt or sudden.
“Pawar saheb might have thought deeply before coming to this decision. He must be thinking of handing over the responsibility to the next team and making them ready while he is still active,” he said.
“Though Pawar saheb has sought time (to rethink his resignation), I am sure it was a well though out decision and he will convince party leaders to accept it,” Maniyar stated.
“Saheb has not given up politics or social work. Whether he is party chief or not, he will continue to work with the same gusto with which he was working till now,” he said.
Asked about Pawars possible successor if he stays firm on his decision to quit the top party post, Maniyar said the veteran politician believes in democratic functioning of the party and any decision on the issue will be taken unanimously.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)