At an AICC briefing here, party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar, however, feigned ignorance about the interview by Chavan which is at the heart of the matter. "I have not seen it (the interview). Therefore it is not proper for me to make a comment on it," Kumar told reporters.
Although a senior Congress functionary did acknowledge that he was "flummoxed" upon reading the remarks by Chavan in the interview, he refused to go on record with his views on the issue.
Congress "flummoxed" upon reading the remarks by Chavan
Another senior party functionary, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Chavan's remarks suggest a bid to find excuses for the near certain defeat of the party under his leadership in Maharashtra in the Assembly polls, the voting for which is to be held tomorrow.
In an interview to an English daily, Chavan reportedly said, "Adarsh brought under the scanner Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan -- the top Congress leadership in the state. If I had taken action against them, the party would have been decimated in Maharashtra.
"If I had sent them to jail, it would have hit the party organisation. The party would have split. Nobody articulated that openly then. Neither could I."