Maharashtra Congress President Nana Patole has courted controversy after a news clip showed him saying "I can hit Modi and abuse him". BJP national spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla tweeted the clip making an oblique reference to the Prime Minister's recent security breach in Punjab. Mr Patole has, however, clarified that the video clip where he is speaking in Marathi is actually a reference to a local goon who shares the surname of the Prime Minister.
"Now you know why PM Security breach was a SAAZISH (conspiracy)," Mr Poonawalla said. He was referring to the PM Modi's recent trip to Ferozepur in Punjab where he was stuck atop a flyover for 15-20 minutes due to the road being blocked by some protesters. The Ministry of Home Affairs had termed it as a "major lapse" in his security.
CONGRESS MAHARASHTRA PRESIDENT NANA PATOLE SAYS— Shehzad Jai Hind (@Shehzad_Ind) January 17, 2022
मैं मोदी को मार सकता हूं और गालियां भी दे सकता हूं -I can kill/ hit PM Modi , I can abuse him
Now you know why PM Security breach was a SAAZISH ….
Reported by : ABP, TV9 Marathi, Maharashtra Times https://t.co/0yshZlasEMpic.twitter.com/fCemNILdjG
The Congress was quick to issue a clarification saying the Maharashtra state party chief was not referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but some local goon who shares his surname. People in Mr Patole's constituency were complaining about a local goon who is known as Modi, Congress Maharashtra general secretary Atul Londhe Patil said on Twitter, adding that "whatever patoleji said it was about him and not about honourable PM Narendra Modiji".
people of Maharashtra Congress president Shri Nana patoleji's constituency was complaining about local goon who is known as Modi whatever patoleji said it was about him and not about honourable PM Narendra Modiji— Atul Londhe Patil (@atullondhe) January 17, 2022
The Congress party has issued a clarification stating that Nana Patole was talking about a local goon called Gopanrav Modi and not Narendra Modi.
"I have been in politics for the last 30 years. In five years a politician can provide for an entire generation. By building schools and colleges they can provide for two generations. I don't own even one school and nor I have I taken any contract from anyone. I help whoever comes to me for help. That's why I can hit Modi and abuse him," Mr Patole was heard saying in the now controversial video clip.
Mr Poonawall's allegation are in line with several BJP leaders' assertion that there was a sinister conspiracy behind the security breach, though the state government has rubbished such allegations. The Congress government in Punjab has also appointed a high-level panel to probe the alleged security breach. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanat had last week called it a "pre-planned and sponsored conspiracy".