Responding to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor’s recent remarks that questioned PM Narendra Modi’s selective choice of headgear, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy derided Tharoor’s “suit-boot” way of dressing, calling him somebody who has “not come out of cocktail parties”.

“Isn’t your suit-boot strange for us?” Swamy asked in an interview with ANI on Tuesday (video above). “When you wear a suit, you look like a waiter in a restaurant...a butler,” he said. The BJP leader also lashed out at Tharoor’s language, saying it was heavily influenced by the British.

While speaking on “Standing up to hatred: Violence and intolerance in contemporary India” in New Delhi on Sunday, Tharoor had questioned why Modi never wears a Muslim skull cap even though he dons other forms of “outlandish headgear”.

“You see him in a hilarious Naga head-dress with feathers, various kinds of extraordinary outfits, which is the right thing for the PM to do...Indira Gandhi has also been photographed wearing various kinds of costumes,” Tharoor said. “Why does he always refuse to wear a Muslim skull cap? Why does he refuse to wear green?”

Tharoor’s remarks prompted demands for an apology from Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. Minister of State for Information Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also condemned Tharoor’s remarks. “This condescension and arrogance towards the people of India have become hallmarks of the Congress,” Rathore tweeted.

Responding to Rathore, Tharoor tweeted that he was sidestepping the question. “When PM wears all types of headgear, why does he avoid just one?” he asked.