New Delhi: Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam sparked a controversy with his swipe at Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala hours after the party claimed victory that ended with the resignation of B S Yeddyurappa as the state's Chief Minister.
"Vajubhai Vala has established a new standard of loyalty. Perhaps now every Indian will name their dog Vajubhai Vala because nobody can be more loyal than him," Nirupam told news agency ANI.
#WATCH Derogatory statement by Congress' Sanjay Nirupam, says, 'Iss desh mein wafadari ka naya kirtimaan sthaapit kiya hai Vajubhai Vala (#Karnataka Guv) ji ne, ab shayad India ka har aadmi apne kutte ka naam Vajubhai Vala hi rakhega kyunki isse zyada wafaadaar koi ho nahi sakta' pic.twitter.com/P0EtWWo58i— ANI (@ANI) May 19, 2018
The Congress leader's comments came after Yeddyurappa's decision to resign and not face a floor test in Karnataka. Thus, ended days of political twists in the state which began with the results which were declared on Tuesday.
A day later, Vajubhai Vala invited the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party with 104 but short of majority of 112, to form the government and 15 days to prove its strength in the assembly.
The lavish 15-day deadline was later cut short to 24 hours by the Supreme Court against appeals by the BJP.
Vajubhai Vala also controversially appointed a BJP MLA K G Bopaiah seen as close to B S Yeddyurappa as the pro-tem speaker for today's floor test in what many pointed out was a break from tradition.
Usually the senior-most MLA is appointed as pro-tem speaker.
Nirupam's remarks followed the comments made by Congress president Rahul Gandhi who in his briefing to the media on Saturday evening stressed that the BJP and its ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) did not respect the country's institutions.
"Congress does not respect institutions and this statement is just an evidence of that. Is this how they show respect towards the post of the Governor?" Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said as he served the rejoinder to a spree of Congress' reactions following Yeddyurappa's resignation.
Red-faced Congress quickly distanced itself from the comment. "Congress doesn't agree with any such statement. Karnataka governor murdered democracy. However, any statement made on him personally won't be accepted. Rahul Gandhi and Congress have regard for their worst enemies unlike PM Modi," party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.
As the backlash escalated, Sanjay Nirupam issued an apology of sorts.
"Vajubhai Vala is a human. How can I make him a dog. But in displaying the highest human habit quality of loyalty, he has left even dogs behind. But despite that, of this statement was not liked then I apologise. But his excellency did not spare any effort to murder democracy. He should resign," he tweeted in Hindi.