The BJP has slammed Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for his "infiltrators" remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Mr Chowdhury's comment caused uproar in parliament on Monday, with the BJP demanding an unconditional apology for the "insult".
"I can say that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah-ji are themselves the infiltrators. Their homes are in Gujarat but they have come to Delhi," Mr Chowdhury, the Leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, told news agency ANI.
"India is for everyone -- for Hindus, for Muslims and for everyone else. They are creating the fear that they will throw out Muslims. They do not have the capability to do that. But what they want to show is Hindus will be allowed to stay, while Muslims will be sent away," added Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, while opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra took a swipe at the Congress over its president Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin. He tweeted in Hindi: "Are Gujaratis infiltrators? And Italian?"
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said the Congress's own leader is an "infiltrator" and that it targets others in a similar manner. "It is an outright insult to people who elected Modi-ji. He won a resounding mandate. He is liked overseas also," Mr Joshi said, adding that the Congress leader should give an unconditional apology.
The issue was raised during the zero hour session by the BJP's Uday Pratap Singh.
In the Lok Sabha, Mr Chowdhury said his family came from Bangladesh. Speaker Om Birla adjourned the House briefly because of the protests.
Mr Chowdhury's controversial comment comes at a time when Amit Shah is discussing the Citizenship Amendment Bill with the political parties and the civil society organisations from the northeastern states. Mr Shah met them on Friday and Saturday. A third round of meeting will be held on Tuesday.
(With inputs from PTI)