New Delhi: Haryana Minister Anil Vij, notoriously prone to shooting his mouth off, has compared Rahul Gandhi to the deadly Nipah virus in his latest blooper. "Rahul Gandhi is similar to Nipah virus, whichever party he comes in contact with, that party will be finished. They (parties) are trying to come together (in alliance) but they will be finished off," Mr Vij said today.
The new virus, which spreads through contact, has caused 14 deaths in Kerala and more are under surveillance.
Mr Vij is known to throw darts at the Congress president.
After Rahul Gandhi took over as party chief in December from his mother Sonia Gandhi, Mr Vij remarked that this would help Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cause of a "Congress-mukt bharat (Congress-free India)".
Last year, the minister had embarrassed his party, the BJP, with his comment that Mahatma Gandhi's image was responsible for the devaluation of rupee notes and that PM Modi was a "better brand" for khadi than Gandhi. The BJP disowned the comments, calling them Mr Vij's personal views.
More recently, the minister reportedly said that Bhagat Singh and Lala Lajpat Rai had made the "supreme sacrifice" for the country by laying down their lives, unlike Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru, "who did not suffer even a single stick".
In another controversial comment, he targeted Gurmehar Kaur, the Delhi University student who led a campaign against in-campus violence and blamed BJP-linked students' group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad or ABVP for it. "Those who are supporting Gurmehar Kaur are all pro-Pakistan. Such people have no right to live in India and they should be thrown out of the country," Mr Vij had said.