Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Raja Pateria was arrested today for his controversial “be ready to kill” Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarks.
Mr Pateria triggered outrage on Monday when a video of him surfaced in which he was heard goading a group of people to “kill” PM Modi in order to “save” the Constitution.
In the viral video, Mr Pateria, at a gathering of party workers, said, “Modi will end elections, Modi will divide on the basis of religion, caste, language; the lives of Dalits, tribals, and minorities are in danger. If the constitution is to be saved, then be ready to kill Modi.”
Following his remarks, the Madhya Pradesh government ordered a police case against Mr Pateria, a former state minister.
A case was registered against Mr Pateria Monday afternoon at Pawai police station in Panna. Mr Pateria was arrested from his residence in Hata town of the state’s Damoh district.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan condemned the comments and even targetted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi by saying: “The real face of those pretending to do a Bharat Jodo Yatra is coming out.”
“Congress people are not able to compete with PM Narendra Modi in the field, that’s why a Congress leader is talking about killing him. This is the height of hatred. True feelings of Congress are being revealed. The law will take its course,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.
In the same video, Mr Pateria claimed that the word “murder” in his speech meant “defeat”. The Congress leader said that he is a follower of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology of non-violence and defeating PM Modi in elections is necessary to protect the rights of minorities.
The Congress, meanwhile, expressed its dismay over the “reprehensible” comments made by Mr Pateria.
“Absolutely reprehensible! No such words should be used against the prime minister or against anyone. The Congress party denounces, condemns such statements,” Congress leader Pawan Khera said, as quoted by news agency PTI.
“There is no excuse to use any such language against anyone including and especially the prime minister,” Mr Khera said.