Mumbai, April 6 : Barely an hour after his comparison of Opposition parties with animals at a public rally here created a furore, Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah virtually backtracked on his comments.
During his rally speech, Shah said when there are huge floods all animals like "snakes, mongooses, dogs and cats" climb together on a single tree trunk for refuge, as there are deep waters below.
"A campaign is underway to unite all Opposition partiesa Whenever there are huge floods, all snakes, mongooses, dogs, cats, leopards and lions, climb up a huge tree as they are scared of the rising waters.
"The political flood unleashed by (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi has made all these snakes, mongooses, dogs and cats, join together and unitedly contest the 2019 elections against him," he had said.
However, barely an hour later, Shah clarified that what he implied was parties with different ideologies joining together to fight the upcoming elections vis-a-vis the BJP and Modi.
"What I intended was that the parties with opposing political ideologies which could never come together have united... They include BSP-SP (the Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party), TDP-Congress, Congress-Trinamool Congress, etc.," Shah said at a media briefing later.
He claimed that "political parties with differing ideologies have united because of the fear of Modi", noting animals like snake and mongoose never come together.
"However, if somebody has felt offended then I am naming them all now, there is nothing to feel bad about it. Kindly don't twist my comments out of context," Shah, apparently on the backfoot, appealed to the media.
Earlier in his speech, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis compared the Opposition to awolves' who posed no challenge to Modi.
Shah's utterances unleashed reactions and debates on the social media, with even veteran actor Nana Patekar joining in, asking that the Congress should at least get credit for ensuring democracy survived in the country.