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Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel resign over No. 2 position in Government


July 20, 2012 - New Delhi

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar has resigned from the cabinet late Thursday night. Along with Sharad Pawar, another NCP member - Minister of Heavy Industries, Public Enterprises Praful Patel also tendered his resignation. The resignation letters were sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and said that they will not attend their offices on Friday. Sources say that the resignations were sent as Pawar felt that he was humiliated for being overlooked for the No. 2 position in the Cabinet.

The trouble started as Sharad Pawar is being overlooked for the number 2 position in the UPA government. After Pranab Mukherjee resigned from the cabinet, defence minister AK Antony got the number two slot. Sharad Pawar took the move as an insult to his seniority. Both Pawar and Patel have skipped the cabinet meetings twice in the last one month.

Pawar meets Sonia

Sharad Pawar met with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Friday morning and conveyed his displeasure that the UPA is not following the coalition dharma and is ignoring its smaller allies. Pawar drove to 10 Janpath to discuss various issues including the No. 2 slot in the Cabinet. The Congress Core Group will meet in the evening to discuss the issue. After the meeting with Sonia Gandhi, the NCP leaders have met at the residence of Pawar.

Solution?

The Congress is taking the issue seriously to avoid any sorts of problem among the UPA coalition. Sources say that Congress has proposed the following solution. A three-member committee comprising of AK Antony, Sharad Pawar and Leader of the House in Lok Sabha will oversee the government's functioning in the absence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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