Pawar takes resignations of all central, state NCP ministers

Mumbai, June 7 (IANS) In a surprise move, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar has secured the resignations of all his party ministers at the centre and in Maharashtra, a top party official said here late Friday.

He has simultaneously taken the resignations of certain other key party functionaries, including the state NCP Presidents, after a party convention here today.

The NCP chief is likely to carry out a major reshuffle in the party soon, the official, requesting anonymity said.

Top party officials, when contacted Friday night, declined to comment on the developments on-the-record.

The exercise of securing the resignations of all party ministers at the centre and in Maharashtra would pave the way for possible changes of representatives who would occupy cabinet posts.

While on the one hand, some ministers may by drafted for party work prior to next year's Lok Sabha and Maharashtra assembly elections, other key party functionaries may be inducted into the cabinet, the official said.

"This is an internal matter of the NCP. The party chief will decide whether new faces should be inducted into the central and Maharashtra cabinets and assigning fresh responsibilities to various leaders," the official added.

The developments assume significance amid speculation of cabinet reshuffles both at the centre and in Maharashtra.

The NCP is a key constituent of the ruling United Progressive Alliance at the centre and is a partner in the Democratic Front government in Maharshtra.

The development was followed by reports of meetings among Congress leaders in the state and the centre and the possibility of Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan travelling to New Delhi tomorrow to meet top party leaders.

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