The party, which is likely to see its vice-president Rahul Gandhi emerging as the prime ministerial candidate in some time, tried to downplay Shinde's remarks. It was the NCP's clarification that Pawar was not in the race to become the prime minister that saved the day for Shinde. He later defended himself by saying that he was misquoted and actually wanted to make Rahul Gandhi as the prime minister.
This is not the first time that Shinde has stirred a controversy and put his government in an embarrassing position.
Congress admits that Shinde could be a liability for the party in next LS polls
In November 2012, Shinde said that the government knew about terror groups investing in Indian stock markets, leaving the authorities red-faced. In January last year, a massive political war broke out after Shinde accused the BJP and RSS of promoting 'Hindu terror' in India. In each of these cases, the UPA's managers had to resort to a desperate damage control exercise.
In March, the Union minister named the Bhandara rape victims on the floor of the Rajya Sabha. The error was pointed out by BJP leader Arun Jaitley.
In June, Shinde said the lack of coordination among agencies added to the sufferings of people hit by the deadly natural disaster in Uttarakhand last year.
Shinde also drew flak at other times for taunting SP MP Jaya Bachchan after the Assam riots of 2012 saying they were not "subject of a film" and asking chief ministers of the states not to arrest people from the minority communities.
One Congress leader said that the party hoped that Shinde finds a solution to stop being a motormouth or else it could hurt its prospects in the next Lok Sabha elections due in some time.