A day after tweeting against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and asking Gujaratis who praise him to leave Mumbai, Congressman Nitesh Rane on Saturday made it clear that his tweet was a political statement and not racist.

“They live and earn their livelihood in this city, but praise Modi and Gujarat’s development model. Such people should leave Mumbai and move to Gujarat,” Mr. Rane, son of Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane tweeted on Friday. “If you read my statement carefully, you will understand that I made a political statement, where I asked that if Gujarati people living in Mumbai believe that there is more development in Gujarat, then why they stay here. Why don’t they believe Mr. Modi and go to Gujarat?” he said at a press conference.

He made it clear that if they (Gujaratis from Mumbai) do not see much development in their native State, it means that Mr. Modi is lying. “Then he should apologise to the country for lying,” he said, making it clear he will not apologise for the statement.

The tweet invoked angry reactions from the BJP with Party MLC Ashish Shelar raised the issue in the Legislative Council.