Maharashtra Minister Suresh Khade has claimed Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the "soul of the country" who resided in the hearts of the people and was "undefeatable".
His effusive praise for the Prime Minister came while answering a query on Nationalist Congress Party chief Jayant Patil claiming it was impossible to defeat the latter's party supremo Sharad Pawar and his relative from Baramati area in the state.
Mr Patil had said the sun may rise in the west but a political defeat in the Baramati home turf for the Pawars was not possible.
The state minister for social justice was speaking to reporters in Pandharpur, some 360 km from Mumbai, on Saturday.
"(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi is the soul of this country. He is undefeatable. (Former PMs) Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Indira Gandhi lost elections in their time, but Modi will never lose," Mr Khade asserted.
He went on to say that Bharatiya Janata Party patriarch LK Advani had also lost polls, though this was factually not correct as the party stalwart has won every Lok Sabha poll he contested between 1977 and 2014. He did not contest the 2019 general elections.
Responding to Mr Patil, Suresh Khade said the electorate decided on victories and defeats in politics and such statements did not mean much.
However, when queried about Prime Minister Modi also being at the mercy of the voters like others, Mr Khade said, "Modi is the soul of India. He is there in the hearts of people. He cannot be defeated." Indira Gandhi lost the Lok Sabha polls of 1977, while Atal Bihari Vajpayee lost a bypoll in 1955, was defeated from one of the two seats he contested in 1957, and then lost in 1962 and 1984 as well.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)