Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal on Sunday said he submitted his resignation to CM Eknath Shinde as he is responsible for the allocation of portfolios. “I handed over my resignation to CM Shinde. I have already made it public,” the Food and Civil Supplies Minister told reporters.

Speaking at a rally on Saturday, the senior leader from the NCP (Ajit Pawar) faction disclosed that he resigned on November 16, but didn`t make it public on the advice of the CM and Deputy CM.

When asked why he submitted his resignation to Shinde, who belongs to Shiv Sena, Bhujbal said, “A chief minister allocates ministerial portfolios and informs ministers about their responsibilities.

“It is always the prerogative of a chief minister whom to include in his Cabinet, and accordingly, the state governor is informed”. Bhujbal refused to elaborate on this issue.

Earlier, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the resignation of Bhujbal has not been accepted.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde will be able to clarify on this, Fadnavis told reporters late Saturday night.

Bhujbal, who has accused the Maharashtra government of facilitating “backdoor entry” of the Maratha community into the quota for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs), on Saturday said he resigned from the state cabinet on November 16 last year.

He further said that he kept quiet for more than two months because the chief minister and the deputy CM asked him not to speak about it.

Talking to reporters, Fadnavis said, “The chief minister will be able to clarify on this, but I can only say as of now that Bhujbal`s resignation has not been accepted by the chief minister or me.”

Bhujbal, who belongs to the Ajit Pawar-led faction of the NCP, on Saturday reiterated that he is not opposed to Marathas getting the reservation but is against sharing the existing quota for the OBCs.

“I will work for the welfare of OBCs and their rights throughout my life. There is no need to demand my resignation or kick me out as some opposition leaders and those from my alliance are demanding. I quit on November 16 last year,” he said.

“I was silent on the issue for two-and-a-half months because the chief minister and the deputy chief minister had asked me not to speak about it,” he added.

A Shiv Sena MLA from the Eknath Shinde camp had said Bhujbal should be sacked for trying to create a rift in society.

Bhujbal has accused the government of pandering to the demands of Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange. (With inputs from PTI)

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