The Congress West Bengal unit shot itself in the foot on Twitter on Saturday morning when it posted one of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's most controversial quotes as a tribute to him on his 72nd birth anniversary. While the tweet by the party's West Bengal unit was deleted within ten minutes of being published, screenshots of the comment spread like wildfire across the micro-blogging platform.

The former prime minister's words came soon after riots broke out against Sikhs in Delhi in the aftermath of the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984. He said, “When a big tree falls, the ground shakes,” referring to the death of his mother. Rajiv Gandhi’s comment was interpreted as his approval for the events that transpired after Indira Gandhi's death, during which more than 3,000 people lost their lives. The statement can be found in most books published on the anti-Sikh riots and has been widely criticised by politicians who blame the Congress for the riots, The Indian Express reported.

This is the second time in three days that the party has been embarrassed by its members. On Thursday, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh was criticised for referring to Kashmir as India-Occupied Kashmir.