Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan Sunday blamed his Congress rivals for implicating him in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam and attempting to finish him off.
Addressing a public meeting here Sunday afternoon, Chavan said these party rivals - whom he did not name - conspired against him.
"I am innocent and have done nothing wrong in the Adarsh case. But the people will not spare those who hatched the sinister conspiracy to remove me and tried to end my political career," Chavan said.
Breaking his silence for the first time since he was forced to quit Nov 9 by the Congress high command, Chavan declared that he was not scared of any enquiry. "I am ready to appear before any enquiry as I have not done anything wrong," he said.
Chavan said he was not bothered about losing the chief minister's post and would continue to serve the party as an ordinary worker - indicating that he would not revolt.
He said he had submitted his resignation much before Diwali.
The former chief minister also disclosed that some leaders resorted to aggressive lobbying for the plum post, but apparently they did not succeed. "One Chavan was replaced by another Chavan," Chavan pointed out, referring to his successor Prithviraj Chavan.
Chavan's comments assumes significance in view of the forthcoming discussion demanded by the state opposition parties in the ongoing winter session of the Maharashtra legislature.
The opposition plans to raise the matter Tuesday in the legislature, which is currently in session in Nagpur.
This was Chavan's first visit to his hometown after he resigned and he was given a tumultuous welcome by several thousand party workers and the local population this afternoon when he addressed the huge gathering.