Union minister V K Singh was in the midst of a controversy on Thursday over his reported "Modi ki army" comment to a foreign media outlet, even though he denied making the remark.
BBC India reported that BJP leader Singh had said in an interview to it that "anybody who calls Indian Army Modi's army is a traitor".
Mr Singh, however, strongly denied making the comment, saying the reporter concerned did a "cut-paste job", and took to Twitter to ask the media house as to "how much money did he get" for doing so.
BBC India released a full video of its conversation with Mr Singh on its Twitter handle to bolster its claim and said the Minister of State for External Affairs had even used the word "presstitute" for it.
Congress leader Ahmed Patel also tweeted, saying, "Gen VK Singh is right, those insulting the Indian Army by calling them the soldiers of an individual or "Modi ji ki Sena" are traitors. I hope BJP takes suitable action against these anti-nationals."
Gen VK Singh is right, those insulting the Indian Army by calling them the soldiers of an individual or "Modi ji ki Sena" are traitors- Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) April 4, 2019
I hope BJP takes suitable action against these anti-nationals. pic.twitter.com/izoBtMS2JK
Mr Singh was asked about certain comments made by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referring to the Army as "Modi ki sena" that triggered a controversy with opposition parties hitting out at him.
Mr Singh said the armed forces did not belong to an individual but to the nation, even as his cabinet colleague Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi was caught on camera referring to the Army as "Modiji ki sena".
Mr Naqvi's purported remark came amid a controversy over a similar comment made by Yogi Adityanath recently.
However, Mr Naqvi later maintained that he had not said it in as many words.
When contacted for comments over the controversy triggered by Adityanath's remark, Singh, a retired Army chief, said the Army belonged to the nation.
"Sena kisi ki nahi hoti hai. Sena sirf desh ki hoti hai. Is mein Modi sena kahan se aa gayi (the Army does not belong to an individual, it belongs to the nation. Where did the Modi army come from?," he said.
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