Union Home Minister Amit Shah did not make any comments with “ill intent” about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Meghalaya Governor Satya Pal Malik said on Monday hours after a controversy erupted, The Indian Express reported.

At an event in Haryana on Sunday, Malik had said that Modi reacted arrogantly when he met him to discuss the protests against the farm laws. He also claimed that when he spoke about the hundreds of farmers who had died in the agitation, the prime minister said: “Did they die for me?”

The governor added that his meeting with Modi had ended in a confrontation. “He [Modi] told me to meet Amit Shah and I did,” Malik can be heard saying in a video tweeted by Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge. “When I met Amit Shah, he told me ‘Satya, he has lost his mind. You be carefree and keep meeting us’.”

Shah was allegedly referring to Modi, Kharge claimed. However, Malik said his remarks citing Shah had been “misconstrued”.

Malik told NDTV that the home minister has high respect for Modi. “He [Shah] told me that people misguide the prime minister,” he added. “I want to clarify that Shah did not say anything about the prime minister with ill intent. He only told me that my concerns will be understood.”

“Actually, Amit Shah had asked me why do I keep making statements?” Malik told The Indian Express. “But when I told him the government had to find a middle path for the farmers and cannot let them die, he was very understanding. He understood the issue too.”

Meanwhile, at a press conference, Congress General Secretary Randeep Surjewala sought an apology from Modi for not being sensitive to farmers who had died during the protests, The Hindu reported.

“If Governor Satya Pal Malik is lying, please sack Governor Malik today and register an FIR against him,” Surjewala said. “And if he is not lying, then Prime Minister Modi must come forward, Amit Shah ji must come forward and apologise to India’s toiling farmers and farm labourers. Otherwise, they will never pardon you.”

The Congress leader also urged the government to form a panel to legally guarantee minimum support price.

Malik has criticised the Modi-led Union government several times in the past on the way it handled the farmers protests. The three farm laws were repealed on December 1.

On November 7, the governor had said that he had advised the prime minister not to upset the Sikh and Jat communities, whose members formed the bulk of protestors agitating against the farm laws.

Malik, who served as Jammu and Kashmir’s lieutenant governor before being posted in Meghalaya, said that he knew he had been appointed by “two to three powerful people in Delhi”. He added, “I know that I am speaking against their wishes. I will quit the day they ask me to.”