Gujarat minister Ganpatsinh Vasava on Saturday likened Congress chief Rahul Gandhi to a "puppy who would go to Pakistan or China if they threw bread at it", inviting censure from not just the opposition party but also state chief minister Vijay Rupani.
Vasava had earlier taken a swipe at the claim of some Congress supporters that Gandhi was an "incarnation of Lord Shiva", asking the Congress chief to prove the claim by consuming poison.
Speaking at a tribal gathering on Saturday in Dediapada in Narmada district, part of Bharuch Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP leader said, "When Rahul Gandhi gets up from the chair, it appears as if a puppy has got up wagging its tail, which would go to Pakistan and China if they threw bread at it."
During the address, Vasava likened Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a lion.
Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi said Vasava's remarks showed that the BJP has been rejected by the people of Gujarat.
"Vasava has done injustice to the tribal community to which he belongs. He should understand using such language will not get him any support as long as he does not give an account of what he did for the tribals," Doshi said.
Gujarat Congress in charge Rajiv Satav said, "This is the BJP's style of functioning, but the people of Gujarat have decided that it will stand with the Congress."
Chief Minister Rupani too disapproved of Vasava's remarks and urged him to show restraint.
"In the election, in the heated environment, one should show restraint. Words should be used with firmness, but one should not use unsavoury personal language," Rupani told reporters in Rajkot.