Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat on Sunday made another gaffe as he said that the United States had “ruled India for over 200 years”.

Speaking at an event, Rawat was praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. In his bid to compare the Covid situation in US and India, the chief minister ended up confusing America with Britain.

“I don’t know what would have happened to India, had there been anybody but Narendra Modi as the leader,” Rawat said. “India is doing much better [in handling the pandemic] as compared to other countries. America, who ruled as for 200 years...it ruled the entire world, they used to say that the sun never sets. But the deaths [there] have gone past 50 lakhs and they are again headed for a lockdown.”

Last week, Rawat had courted controversy for claiming that women who wore ripped jeans set a bad example for children. Speaking at a workshop, Rawat had recounted a conversation with a woman who was travelling with two children on an airplane. “She was sitting next to me so I spoke to her,” Rawat said, “She was wearing gum boots and her jeans were torn at the knees. She runs an NGO, her jeans are torn at the knees, she moves around in the society and kids are with her. What values will she give [to the children]?”

“Kyanchi se sanskaar [culture by scissors] – showing bare knees, wearing ripped denim and looking like rich kids...these are the values being given now,” he said “Where is this coming from, if not at home?”

His comment was strongly criticised on social media.