Congress leader Manish Tewari has come under fire for an abusive tweet he directed against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s supporters on Sunday. Tewari’s tweet was an angry response to a user who asked the former Congress minister not to teach Modi patriotism, as it was in the prime minister’s DNA and even Mahatma Gandhi could not teach him that.

Tewari replied that Modi had turned fools into his supporters and made fools of those who supported him, in this tweet.

The Bharatiya Janata Party was quick to criticise Tewari for his reply. “A depressed Congress has become an expired bubble of abuses,” Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told PTI. “When they do not have logic they take to such cheap language. The Congress has been rejected by the people and since then its leaders have lost their mental balance. They are in need of urgent psychiatric treatment.” He demanded that the Congress leadership apologise for Tewari’s remarks.

Party leader Subramanian Swamy blamed Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi. “The only person I think who has the authority to make such a remark is Rahul Gandhi, who can say anything at any time,” Swamy said, claiming that the Congress vice-president had “orchestrated” the tweet.

Responding to the controversy, Tewari claimed he had merely used a “colloquial Hindi phrase” and that he was willing to apologise if Modi promised to “unfollow” those on Twitter who abused women.