MP Congress leader Raja Pateria's 'kill Modi' remark triggers row
Senior Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Raja Pateria has sparked a major row after allegedly making controversial statements against PM Narendra Modi. In a viral video, Pateria was reportedly seen asking people to be ready to "kill Modi" to save the Constitution and minorities. While he clarified on the video that he meant to "defeat Modi," Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have demanded his arrest.
What exactly did the Congress leader say?
Addressing Congress workers in MP's Pawai, Pateria said, "Modi will end elections...divide on the basis of religion, caste, language; the lives of Dalits, tribals, and minorities are in danger. If the Constitution is to be saved, then be ready to kill Modi," per NDTV. Immediately, he clarified that by "kill" he meant "defeat." Later, he said he's a follower of Mahatma Gandhi's non-violence ideology.
Video of controversial speech shared by BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla
FIR being registered: Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan
MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Pateria's comments exposed Congress's "real sentiments." "Congress people can't face the PM in the electoral battle, and one Congress leader talks about his murder," he said. "This is the height of jealousy. This is excess hatred," Chouhan said. He said an FIR was being registered against Pateria for the remarks, adding that such controversial statements won't be tolerated.
Reactions of other leaders
MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra ordered an FIR against Pateria be filed, saying such statements show Congress is "afflicted with a Mussolini mindset" and not that of Mahatma Gandhi. Union minister Pralhad Venkatesh Joshi called Pateria's remarks against Modi "an unpardonable crime." "Even if Raja Patria declares himself mentally unsound, he should not get away with this crime," Joshi said in a video appeal.
Previous controversy involving Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge
Last month, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge also triggered a controversy after he took a dig at PM Modi for leading every election campaign of the BJP. Kharge reportedly compared him to "Raavan" having many heads during an election rally in Gujarat. Soon after his comments, the BJP reacted sharply, terming the words as an insult to Gujarat and its son, Modi.