- Mr Shah called opposition unity moves motley group of animals in a flood
- He later said he was talking in context of differing ideologies
- Congress hit out at the BJP saying it's the party's "arrogance" speaking
Addressing BJP workers in Mumbai to mark the party's founding day, Amit Shah said: "A mongoose, a cat, a dog, a cheetah and lion, they are coming together because they see water rising below them. So they are all in one boat."
Fearing the 'Modi flood', Mr Shah sneered, "a snake, a mongoose, a dog and a cat have come together to fight elections."
At a press conference in the evening, the BJP chief said, "I apologise if anyone felt bad, but I was only talking in the context of ideologies."
He continued, "I want to tell the Congress, BSP and all other opposition parties. Those assembled together do not match in ideologies but they have come together only because they are afraid of PM Modi."
The Congress said it was the BJP's "arrogance" speaking. "The opposition looks like cats and dogs to them. This is their mindset. Amit Shah is using bad language. Aapki Gaali Aapko Mubaarak," said spokesperson Randeep Surjewala.
Encouraged by the UP experiment, many opposition parties talked about pooling resources to take on the BJP in the 2019 national election. Mamata Banerjee suggested that the Akhilesh Yadav-Mayawati template should be replicated in other states and also floated a "one-is-to-one" formula for fighting the BJP in each state.
Sonia Gandhi, the chairperson of the Congress-led UPA, last month hosted dinner for 21 opposition parties at her 10 Janpath House.
But Mr Shah said he was not worried, that the "golden age" of the BJP is yet to come. "This is not the Golden Age of the BJP, the golden era of BJP will come when in West Bengal and Odisha BJP governments will be formed," he said to loud cheering.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah took a dig at the BJP president on Twitter. "Did the BJP President liken the Hon PM to a natural disaster?" he posted.
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