Rahul Gandhi was referred to as "Pappu" by a Congress leader in Meerut.
The Congress leader who was suspended for referring to party vice-president Rahul Gandhi as "Pappu", has quit the party, saying he would launch a campaign soon for a "Pappu-mukt" (Pappu-free) India - an apparent take-off on the BJP slogan of "Congress-mukt Bharat" (Congress-free India).
Vinay Pradhan - who claims to have been a Congressman for 22 years - has not said whether he would join the BJP or any other party. He has not elaborated either on how he would achieve his objective. But he said a number of Congressmen are ready to help him with his goal.
At a press conference yesterday, Mr Pradhan said it was Rahul Gandhi and the "sycophants around him" that were helping to bring about "some party's dream of a 'Congress-free' India". Announcing his resignation, he said, "A person who cannot understand his praise is really a 'Pappu' (young boy) and I have no qualms in calling him that".
Mr Pradhan was removed as district president of Meerut earlier this month after his WhatsApp messages, while praising Rahul Gandhi, referred to him as "Pappu" - a disparaging name bestowed on him by the BJP.
The message had gone to a host of party workers. It had ruffled feathers within the party and Raj Babbar, the party chief of Uttar Pradesh, had removed him from the party post.
Mr Pradhan, who had claimed that it was a mistake by a member of the team handling his social media, was vocal about the way the party had treated him. "I was removed from all party posts without even hearing my side of the story," he said. "This is like following Pakistan's anti-blasphemy law. The party is being run by a small group of sycophants who surround Rahul Gandhi," he said.