Congress leader Milind Deora, who is seen to have defied his party's line over a Twitter exchange with Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week, has sent out a sharp message to those who are upset with his praise for PM Modi.
Mr Deora, in a tweet, had called PM Modi's "Howdy, Modi!" event in Houston "momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy". He had also said that his friends in the US "acknowledge India's leadership in the 21st century". His tweet even won him a "thank you" tweet from PM Modi.
The Twitter exchange, however, did not go down well with his party leadership which is deeply upset, according to sources.
Today, Mr Deora, 42, tweeted: "Politicians who fail to put national interest before party interest do a great disservice to India!"
During an @iimunofficial meet yesterday, I was asked about @narendramodi ji's gracious acknowledgement of my father's diplomatic efforts & the controversy thereafter.— Milind Deora (@milinddeora) September 26, 2019
My reply - politicians who fail to put national interest before party interest do a great disservice to India! pic.twitter.com/vpzXCLcQAN
He also shared a clip of his talk at an event in which he was asked about the Prime Minister's acknowledgement of his tweet on Monday.
"To anyone, in any particular party, whether it's in the BJP, whether it's in the Congress, whether it's in a regional party, that believes otherwise, I would tell them that they are doing a great disservice to the nation," the Congress leader said.
"I am proud that when I got into parliament, I had a stalwart like Atal Bihar Vajpayeein parliament. I am proud that when I got into parliament, Somnath Chatterjee was the Speaker of parliament. I am proud that when I got into parliament, somebody like a Dr MMS was the Prime Minister of India... all of them were great stalwarts, they could cut across party lines," Mr Deora said in the video.
Mr Deora stirred the pot on Monday with a tweet praising PM Modi's address at the mega event - where US President Donald Trump also spoke.
"PM Modi's Houston address was a momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy. My father Murlibhai (Former Minister Murli Deora) was one of the early architects of deeper Indo-US ties. Donald Trump's hospitality and recognition of Indian-Americans' contributions makes us proud," he had tweeted.
PM Modi acknowledged Mr Deora's post with a thank you note. "Thank you Milind Deora. You are absolutely correct when you highlight my friend, late Murli Deora Ji's commitment to strong ties with USA. He would have been really glad to see the strengthening of ties between our nations. The warmth and hospitality of the US President was outstanding," the PM tweeted.
Mr Deora, in turn, replied with a 'thank you'.
Thank you @narendramodi ji!— Milind Deora (@milinddeora) September 23, 2019
Murlibhai put nation first & worked with all governments in India & the US to deepen ties between our great countries.
In my many interactions with my Democrat & Republican friends, they, too, acknowledge India's leadership in the 21st century https://t.co/AXbEb6ZDtK
Several BJP leader praised Mr Deora for his "honest" feedback.
Congress leader Anand Sharma had pointed out that PM Modi was in the US as the Prime Minister of India and not to campaign for US President Donald Trump. P Chidambaram, who is in jail in a corruption investigation, had taken on the PM for his "everything is fine" assertion.
Mr Deora has denied rumours of him switching to the BJP after announced his resignation as the Mumbai Congress chief in July. He had replaced Sanjay Nirupam shortly before national election in which the Congress put up a poor show.