Ashok Chavan on Tuesday said he found portions of Rohinton Mistry's Such A Long Journey — apparently the only portions of the book the Maharashtra chief minister found time to read — "highly abusive and objectionable".
It was not immediately clear which portions he was referring to, but in condemning the book that the Mumbai University dropped from its syllabus he echoed the Shiv Sena's stand on the issue.
In Delhi, Chavan's party distanced itself from his views. Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said the party was opposed to "censorship".
Chavan said his view on the book was his personal opinion.
"I don't expect students to use these (abusive) portions for study and reproduce them in examination," he said.
"The committee that approves books for the syllabus did not follow due procedure."
Mumbai University withdrew Mistry's book from its syllabus earlier this month after the Sena objected to its inclusion in the syllabus for the undergraduate course.
Aditya Thackeray, grandson of Sena leader Balasaheb Thackeray and a student of Mumbai University, had demanded that the book be dropped as it contained "objectionable" references to the Sena.
Slamming the university's decision, Mistry said it "has come perilously close to institutionalising the ugly notion of self-censorship".
Chavan had some soothing words for students: "The university will ensure that the marks for the book are adjusted in a manner that will benefit students."
(With inputs from Delhi)