Congress accuses PM Modi of 'insulting' Maha, seeks apology for his coronavirus remarks in Lok Sabha

Mumbai, Feb 8 (PTI) The Congress on Tuesday demanded an apology from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for "insulting" Maharashtra by suggesting that the state had encouraged the spread of COVID-19 in other states.

Speaking to reporters, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole also said that the opposition party will stage protests outside BJP offices in the state on Wednesday demanding an apology from the prime minister.

"Speaking in Lok Sabha on Monday, PM Modi insulted Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's Maharashtra by accusing the 12 crore people of the state of spreading COVID-19. PM Modi should apologise for his remarks," Patole told reporters.

Modi had said in Lok Sabha on Monday, "What did Congress leaders do? They stood at railway stations in Mumbai and distributed free tickets to encourage them to leave Mumbai. They inspired people to leave so that the burden over Maharashtra could be lessened. You go to Uttar Pradesh, you go to Bihar. Go, spread Corona there. You committed this sin and created an atmosphere of chaos".

Patole further said that PM Modi had organised a 'Namaste Trump' event in Gujarat "and became the super-spreader of COVID-19".

In February 2020, the then US President Donald Trump had visited India and also addressed a public gathering at a stadium in Ahmedabad as part of the 'Namaste Trump' event.

"Had BJP leaders from Maharashtra been proud of the state they would have condemned the PM's remarks about the state. If they do not condemn these remarks these leaders will be known as 'Maharashtra Drohi' (traitors) in the history of the state," Patole added.

Narendra Modi seems to have forgotten that he is the Prime Minister of the country. He has become a "BJP campaigner", Patole said.