Maharashtra Congress leader and Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Monday side stepped the Padamsinh Patil issue, saying it is an internal matter of the Nationalist Congress Party.
"It is for the NCP to decide whether Patil should resign from the Parliament or not, because it is NCP's internal matter," Deshmukh said.
He was responding to a question on whether Patil should resign from the Parliament, in the wake of his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation, in a murder case.
Patil, a Member of Parliament from Osmanabad in Marathawada region, was arrested by the CBI on Sunday in connection with the murder of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar and his driver Samad Kazi, who were shot dead in a car in Navi Mumbai in June 2006.
The matter is subjudice and the law will take its own course, Deshmukh said.
When asked whether the episode is an embarrassment to the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra, he said, "There is no question of embarrassment. All the accused are arrested now and the state is giving full cooperation to the CBI."
On whether the Patil episode will affect the Congress vote bank, because the party has a tie-up with NCP in the state, the former chief minister of Maharashtra said Congress has its "own vote bank and it is not going to be affected because of this".