Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh: Union Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, while comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and "Congress leader," seen to mean Rahul Gandhi, used the Hindi term "poonch ka baal" for the Congress chief. The Congress wants an apology and has said PM Modi "must control" his leaders.
"Narendra Modi ji aur Congress ke neta mein jo antar hai wo itni doori ka hai, jitna antar mooch ke baal aur pooch ke baal mein hota hai. (There is no comparison between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Congress leader. They are as far apart as the hair from the moustache and the hair from the tail)," Mr Tomar said, while addressing BJP workers in his home state Madhya Pradesh at the weekend.
The minister said the "Congress leader" would take a very long time to "become like PM Modi", stating that the Congress has collapsed in the country, heading towards a decline since 2014, when the BJP swept to power at the Centre.
The Congress' Ripun Bora has said Mr Tomar must furnish an "unconditional apology." Senior party leader Mallikarjun Kharge said, "I don't understand that why such experienced BJP leaders talk like this, which reduces the image of parliamentarians. When such language is used, the PM should clarify and say that no foul language must be used. This reduces the image of politicians, PM."
Mr Kharge, who is the leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, said the "PM should control this and see to it that in public life no one uses foul language." Narenda Singh Tomar is the member of parliament from Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh.
Rahul Gandhi took over as Congress president from his mother Sonia Gandhi last month, just two days before results for the Gujarat assembly elections were announced. The BJP retained the state for a fifth straight time, but the Congress, which conducted an aggressive election campaign led by Mr Gandhi, narrowed the victory margin.
Mr Gandhi's leadership will be tested in Madhya Pradesh, where assembly elections are due by the end of this year. The BJP has ruled Madhya Pradesh for the last 15 years and the Congress hopes for an anti-incumbency sentiment to tap into and win the state.