Mumbai: Amid the unrelenting Opposition clamour for Ajit Pawar`s resignation over his controversial remark on drought, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Sunday sat on a day-long `aatma-klesh` (penance) fast to repent his derogatory comment on Maharashtra drought situation.
Ajit Pawar sat on a day-long fast near the ‘samadhi’ of Maharashtra leader Yeshwantrao Chavan in Karad of Sangli district.
NCP spokesperson supported Ajit`s attempt at penance. "He accepted his mistake with a big heart. He is sensitive, so he felt the pain," NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said in Mumbai.
"The matter should be closed as he has apologised," Malik added.
Meanwhile, reacting to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister’s one day fast, BJP leader Balbir Punj said that “if Ajit Pawar was really feeling guilty he should have resigned.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena called it an attempt by Pawar to whitewash his "disgusting and rude" attitude.
"His words show lack of commitment and understanding. He must resign," said Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe.
Farmer advocacy group Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS), which works for the cause of farmers in Vidarbha region, called the fast a hoax.
"Ajit Pawar is directly responsible for the multi-crore irrigation scam due to which over 10,000 farmers have lost their lives. His real atonement will be his criminal prosecution," said VJAS president Kishor Tiwari.
"Ajit Pawar should not only be sacked but sent to a mental asylum... His remarks reflect his attitude and insensitivity towards farmers," said Bebitai Bais, president of the Vidrabha Farm Widows Asoociation.