An irate Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday following Shashi Tharoor's 'chappal-scorpion-Shivling' attack at PM Modi, calling the remark 'despicable'.
Addressing a news briefing within hours of Tharoor's remarks coming to light, the minister said that it was "very sad that the Congress had become a party of baseless allegations."
He raised Rahul Gandhi's recent transformation to a Shiv-Bhakt and asked, "Rahul Gandhi, you call yourself a Shiv-Bhakt, and your small neta has talked about throwing a slipper on a Shivling? Is this not an abuse on God? What language is this? The Nation won't stand this abuse of Gods and Goddesses."
Addressing PM Modi being the target of Tharoor's attack, the Law and IT minister said, "The whole country is watching that our Prime Minister, who is now popular not only in the country but around the world, has had this kind of shameful remark thrown his way. The country is watching and the country will give an answer."
He then turned his attention towards the Congress top brass: "I'd like to ask Sonia and Rahul Gandhi how such a remark, of throwing chappals, can be accepted by them? They must apologise for this remark made in politics abusing Hindu Gods."
"The Congress party which seeks to represent the heritage of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi has reduced itself it to a party of abuses and baseless allegations under Rahul Gandhi."
Earlier, speaking in Bengaluru, Shashi Tharoor had claimed to be quoting an unnamed RSS leader, and said:
"This personality cult (speaking about Narendra Modi) hasn't sat well with many in the RSS establishment. There's an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to the journalist Vinod Jose of The Caravan which I quote here, in which they express their frustration with their inability to curb Mr Modi. And the man says,
"Mr Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling. You cannot remove with your hand and you can't hit him with a chappal either."
And if you think about it, that's a very very profound understanding of the relationship, because if you remove a scorpion with a hand you'll get stung very badly but if you hit a Shivling with a chappal then you've undermined all the sacred tenets of the faith that <inaudible> the scorpion is sitting on. So ultimately you live with it with seething frustration. That may well be a very interesting clue to the rather complex dynamic that exists between the Hindutva movement and the Moditva expression of it."