MUMBAI: A day after several state Congress leaders complained to Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi against former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan over his attempts to project a squeaky clean image at the expense of the others in the party, Pradesh Congress Committee(PCC) chief Manikrao Thakre on Friday slammed Chavan for his “unfortunate” remarks on the Adarsh Housing scam.
“No case has been made out against former CMs Ashok Chavan, Sushilkumar Shinde and the late Vilasrao Deshmukh in the Adarsh case. The statement was unwarranted,” he said.
In an interview,on the eve of Wednesday’s state elections, Chavan had stated that if he had initiated action against the three leaders the Congress would have been decimated in the state.
Thakre criticised Chavan for being irresponsible. “A wrong message was sent out and it put a question mark on the party ahead of the polling in the crucial Assembly elections,” he said.
Chavan claimed that the statement was part of an off-the-record conversation. However, he regretted the same. “I made the statement inadvertently after the interview was over. It was recorded and attributed to me. Though it was an off-the-record conversation I should have avoided that,” he said.
Outgoing Congress MLA Sunil Kedar also trained his guns on Chavan. “He (Chavan) failed to lead the party in this election. He did not hold many rallies and was stuck in his own constituency. The candidates too did not get enough campaign material,” he said.
A senior Congress leader told Express that Thakre, Chavan and state incharge Mohan Prakash would be held responsible for the party’s likely debacle in the Assembly elections. “There was no coordination among the leaders. The central leaders only came to meet the press but did not address public rallies. We failed to organise a rally of Soniaji or Rahulji (Gandhi) in Mumbai. It was the biggest indication of lack of coordination,” he said.