The Congress was on Sunday left red-faced with the party MP from Maharashtra Vijay Darda describing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a “tiger” while praising his style of functioning.
“Modi’s commitment and dedication towards work bear resemblance to that of a tiger,” Mr. Darda, who shared the dais with the Chief Minister at an award ceremony in Ahmedabad, said.
In Delhi, the Congress was guarded in its response.
“Let us ascertain the facts from the in-charge of the party affairs in the State. Only then it could be seen what could be done,” AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told PTI on being asked whether Mr. Darda could face action.
Senior Congress leader Mohan Prakash is in-charge of party affairs in Maharashtra as well as Gujarat.
Mr. Modi used the occasion to take a dig at the Congress saying Mr. Darda might have to pay a price for his comments.
“It won’t be surprising to read tomorrow’s breaking news that Darda has been served a show-cause by the party high command for praising Modi,” the Chief Minister said.
Later, Mr. Darda downplayed his remarks. “I was just expressing my heartfelt feelings at a religious function,” he said. “Since I am in Gujarat, Modi is the host. In our culture, we always speak good about the host and this is a religious function, so none of my comments should be misconstrued as political remarks.”
At the event, Mr. Darda, who is the Editor-in-Chief of a media house, was given the ‘Tarun Kranti Award’ for his services rendered to the society through the media.
The other two recipients of the award for social service were yoga guru Baba Ramdev and the Jain International Trade Organisation.
Ramdev gives clean chit to Modi
At the function, Baba Ramdev a clean chit to Mr. Modi on the corruption issue saying “he has not done anything wrong.”
“Everybody is asking me about corruption in Gujarat, but I couldn’t find anything of this sort. Modi is not doing anything wrong,” he said.
“Ministers of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government have been in jail. Had the Gujarat Chief Minister also done anything wrong, he would have been put behind bars,” Baba Ramdev added.
Mr. Modi also praised the yoga guru saying he was doing an “excellent job” in the national interest.