NEW DELHI, Sept 17 (IANS): Hours after stoking a controversy with a tweet that contained a Hindi abuse, Congress leader Manish Tewari on Sunday clarified his remark saying that his target was not Prime Minister Narendra Modi but the person who compared the latter with Mahatma Gandhi.
Replying to a Twitter user earlier in the day who had written that even Mahatma Gandhi cannot teach Modi patriotism since it was already in his DNA, Tewari had posted a message which riled many Bhartiya Janata Party leaders who found it to be "abusive" and condemned it subsequently.
"Ise Kehte Hain C******* Ko Bhakt Bana Na or Bhakton Ko Permanent C******* Bana Na -Jai Ho. Even Mahatma cannot teach Modi Deshbhakti (This is what we call making fools their disciples, and votaries permanent fools)," read Tewari's tweet that snowballed into controversy.
But later, he offered a conditional apology.
"Willing to apologise for using a 'colloquial' Hindi phrase. However will PM promise to unfollow those who heap unmentionable abuse on women???" he wrote.
The episode began with a tweet shared on Sunday even earlier by Tewari of a video clip which showed Modi walking while the national anthem played during his Russia trip in 2015.
The tweet was responded to by a user who then proceeded to compare Modi with the Mahatma saying he needed no lesson in patriotism.
The issue remained hot during the day with BJP leaders taking issue with Tewari over it.
"This is a new low as far as the Congress party is concerned. We have seen use of abusive languages by various Congress leaders' in the past. We have seen how (Congress leader) Digvijaya Singh used exactly similar kind of words which I cannot even pronounce in front of the camera for the Bhartiya Janata Party and the Prime Minister.
"And yet again the offence has been repeated by none other than a lawyer who was formerly the I&B Minister of the country. It's extremely unbecoming for an educated person to use such kind of language, that too when you are official spokesperson of the party," BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told Republic news channel.