The BJP on Monday demanded an apology from Congress President Sonia Gandhi over the remarks of party leader Sandeep Dikshit, who described Army chief Bipin Rawat as a "sadak ka gunda" (street thug).
"The Congress party consistently questions the integrity of the Indian Army to shame and demoralise the Indian Army," Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a press conference here.
"'Sadak ka gunda'? Is that the language a senior politician uses against our Army chief?" she asked.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader also said she wondered if there was a strategy of the Congress to "undermine the Indian Army".
"Sonia Gandhi should come out and apologise for the remarks made against the Indian Army by Congress leaders," Sitharaman said.
The Commerce Minister's remarks came a day after Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit stoked a controversy with his description of Army chief General Rawat as a "sadak ka gunda", leading to outrage.
However, Dikshit soon offered apology. But he came under attack from the BJP, which asked the Congress to take action against the former MP.
Taking a dig at Dikshit, Sitharaman said the Congress allows its well known faces to just "go haywire" and does not bother coming out clean on whether its approach is to respect the Indian Army.
Saying that the BJP was shocked over Dikshit's remark, Sitharaman added: "Even when he withdrew the comments that he had made, there is no sense of apology. He sticks to his position, there is no correction about the attitude with which he has spoken."