HUBBALLI: A tweet by the Congress' Karnataka unit making alleged disparaging remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and deleted later, on Tuesday sparked a war of words between the ruling BJP and its rival Congress, though PCC president DK Shivakumar expressed regret over the comments and called for civility in political discourse.
The tweet was deleted after Shivakumar expressed "regret" about it.
Addressing a party gathering here, state BJP chief Naleen Kumar Kateel made some sharp remarks against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, which faced flak from senior party leader Randeep Singh Surjewala and former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
"I have always believed that civil and parliamentary language is a non-negotiable pre-requisite for political discourse. An uncivil tweet made by a novice social media manager through the Karnataka Congress official Twitter handle is regretted and stands withdrawn," Shivakumar wrote on the micro-blogging site.
Kateel, responding sharply to the deleted tweet, also trained his guns against Congress president Sonia Gandhi and referred to the 'G-23' controversy in the grand old party.
Shivakumar wanted the BJP to apologise for Kateel's "unparliamentary" language against Rahul Gandhi.
Hitting out at Kateel, Surjewala, Congress General Secretary in-charge of Karnataka, said the BJP "is drunk with power and drugged with arrogance."
Siddaramiah lashed out at Kateel and said he has "lost his mental balance" while JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy termed the BJP leader's statement 'cheap' and asked leaders not to indulge in personal attacks.
Hitting out at Siddaramaiah, Kateel said Modi and the BJP stood for all sections of the society but alleged that the former CM worked only for the welfare of Muslims.
Stating that "things are in favour of BJP", he said, the Congress and JD(S) have no future.
"The infighting in the Congress is to an extent that it will split into two by the next assembly election, while JD(S) which is a party of family politics is losing strength and infighting in their family is increasing and coming out in the open," he charged.