New Delhi, Jan 22: The Congress on Thursday criticised its senior party leader Janardan Dwivedi for terming Narendra Modi-led BJP's victory in Lok Sabha polls as a victory of Indian-ness.
Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Congress' chief spokesperson Ajay Maken said that the party criticised Dwivedi's statement in strongest words. He also quoted former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to explain what the Congress believes is "Indianness" and asserted that PM Modi "cannot be seen as a symbol of that."
"The recent statement given by Janardan Dwivedi ji is being considered as 'Modi ji's win is a victory of Indianness. What he has said (Janardan Dwivedi) is definitely not the viewpoint of Congress," Maken was quoted as saying in media reports.
Earlier on Wednesday, Congress leader Janardan Dwivedi stirred a controversy by appearing to be gushing in his praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in an interview which he later claimed quoted him out of context.
Dwivedi, party General Secretary, was quoted by a web portal as saying that Modi has started a "new era."
"Modi has been successful in convincing people that from a social point of view, he is closest to Indian citizens. His is a victory of Indianness", Dwivedi was quoted in the interview as saying. He was sharing his view from the premise of Indian voters as they see Modi, the portal said.
However, Dwivedi later told reporters that what he had said in an "objective" analysis was that the election results of 2014 was not the victory of Modi or BJP but defeat of Congress.
He said that Modi and BJP succeeded in projecting that they were closer to Indian people and presented their victory as that of Indianness. "The voters felt like that".
He said that what he had said in the interview was that BJP's victory has ushered in a new time which has brought forth a very big challenge before Congress and there is no scope for any misunderstanding over the issue.
As the interview created speculation over his future course of action, Dwivedi made it clear "people like him do not change their thought and loyalties. If such a time comes, I will keep away from partisan politics. It is just unthinkable that I will do something else".
(With agency inputs)