Amid the relentless clamour by the Opposition for Ajit Pawar's resignation over his controversial remark on drought, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said the matter should have ended with an apology by the Maharashtra deputy chief minister.
"The matter should have ended with the apology," Pawar told reporters.
"It was good that Ajit Pawar apologised. Political leaders should take precautions while making public comments," he said, adding, "Ajit Pawar should choose his language carefully."
Pawar, uncle of Ajit, had earlier tendered an apology on behalf of the deputy chief minister after the latter's crass remark on drought kicked up a huge controversy in the state, which is facing one of the severest droughts in public memory.
"I duly apologise on the behalf of the deputy CM of Maharashtra for the unwarranted comment that he had made," the Union agriculture minister had said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
Pawar said the party would take a final decision on the issue of Ajit's resignation.
"It is not the legislators but the party which will take a final decision," Pawar said.
Ajit Pawar had recently said he would take a call on the Opposition's demand for his resignation only after consulting NCP legislators.
Pawar also said the Opposition should not disrupt the legislature over the issue.
It is speculated that the matter was discussed during a meeting Pawar had with Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan on Friday.
The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena has also been insisting on an apology by the chief minister, a demand which has been rejected by the Congress.
"If there is no water in the dam, should we urinate into it," Ajit had recently said at a function at Indapur near Pune. Infuriated by the insensitive comment, the opposition had demanded his resignation and stalled the proceedings in both Houses of legislature for several days.
On the rampant illegal constructions in Thane and other areas, Pawar said stringent action should be taken against the public representatives and officials responsible.
A letter sent by the Thane chief conservator of forests had said NCP legislator Jeetendra Awhad abused and threatened forest officials trying to demolish unauthorised structures in the Mumbra-Diva belt.
"Demolish all illegal constructions, be it by Awhad or others," Pawar said.