Giriraj Singh, a minister who doubles up as a serial offender with hate remarks, has hit a new low with deeply racist and misogynistic comments about Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
"If Rajiv Gandhi had married a Nigerian lady and not a white-skinned woman, then would the Congress have accepted her leadership?" Mr Singh, 63, said in Bihar's Hajipur on Tuesday, laughing at his own joke.
The minister said he was only chatting informally, off the record, a poor excuse that failed to stop the tide of revulsion over his comments.
The Congress said the remarks on their party chief were bordering on insanity.
"The Congress strongly deprecates and condemns the intemperate and distasteful remarks of Giriraj Singh bordering on insanity," said party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
"They reflect the lack of moral fibre in the BJP. It appears that the continuous quest to appease Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made him lose his balance," he said.
"He is a serial offender. The PM has a duty to publicly correct this situation. What is the PM's Mann ki Baat on this? His silence reflects connivance and encouragement," said CPM leader Brinda Karat.
Giriraj Singh belongs to the politically powerful Bhumihar community in Bihar and was among the first to back Mr Modi's name for prime minister.
"It is shocking. The PM can't be expected to comment on each and everything but I am sure this is a matter of concern for the party," said former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who joined the BJP earlier this year.
Till now, Mr Singh has largely been spared any serious action by the party, but sources say he is among the ministers whose performance could be reassessed when the BJP completes one year in power in May.