Infuriated with Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut's claim that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used to meet underworld don Karim Lala, the Congress has demanded that the Shiv Sena leader should withdraw his statement.
Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said that Raut's statement is "deplorable".
"#SanjayRaut linking Indira Gandhi with the underworld with a straight face is deplorable. How does he make such comments without doing saamna with the rich history of his own party?" he tweeted.
Party leader and former Mumbai unit chief Milind Deora called Raut's remark "ill-informed statement".
"Indira ji was a true patriot who never compromised on India's national security. As former Congress Mumbai President, I demand that Sanjay Raut withdraws his ill-informed statement. Political leaders must show restraint before distorting the legacies of deceased Prime Ministers," Deora tweeted.
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam warned Raut that he will have to repent if he propagates against Gandhi.
"It would be better if Mr Poet of Shiv Sena continues reciting light-hearted poetry of others to entertain Maharashtra. If he propagates against former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, he will have to repent. He should take back his statement against Indira," Nirupam tweeted.
Raut triggered controversy after he claimed that Indira Gandhi used to go and meet yesteryear don Karim Lala, who operated in smuggling, narcotics, gambling, forced property evictions and extortion rackets in Mumbai for over two decades.
"There was a time when Dawood Ibrahim, Chhota Shakeel, Sharad Shetty used to decide who would be Police Commissioner of Mumbai and who would sit in the 'Mantralaya'. Indira Gandhi used to go and meet Karim Lala. We have seen that underworld, now it's just 'chillar'," Raut had said.
( With inputs from ANI )