Congress leader Shashi Tharoor triggered a major controversy with a comment comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a scorpion on a Shivling.
Quoting an unnamed source in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Tharoor, who was addressing an audience at the Bengaluru Literature Festival on Sunday, said, “The personality cult has not sat very well with many in the RSS establishment.
He said that an RSS functionary expressed his frustration with the inability to curb Modi to journalist Vinod Jose of The Caravan.
In a video posted by ANI, Tharoor is heard quoting the RSS functionary, “There’s an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to a journalist, that, ‘Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling, you can’t remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either’.”
“If you think about it that’s a very, very profound understanding of the relationship because If you remove a scorpion with your hand you will be stung very badly but if you hit a Shivling with a chappal then you have undermined all the sacred tenets of the faith,” Tharoor added.
Tharoor’s remarks came in for sharp criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Law Minister, reportedly referred to Tharoor as a “small leader” and demanded an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
“While Rahul Gandhi who claims himself to be a Shiv bhakt, one of his small leaders has almost abused the sanctity of Shiv Linga and Lord Mahadev by referring to chappal attack through named sources,” Prasad was quoted as saying by ANI.
“Rahul Gandhi, you claim yourself be to a Shiv Bhakt please reply to this very horrific denunciation of Lord Mahadev by giving apology to what Tharoor has done,” added the minister.
Tharoor is in Bengaluru to promote his new book ‘The Paradoxical Prime Minister’, which was recently launched by former PM Manmohan Singh.