The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) on Saturday sought an explanation from senior party leader K V Thomas after news reports spoke of him praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration.
Speaking to reporters later. Thomas said that he was misquoted.
A former Union Minister, Thomas represents the Ernakulam Lok Sabha constituency. According to reports, Thomas hailed the Prime Minister while speaking at the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Kerala Management Association in his constituency on Friday.
The reports quoted Thomas as saying: "Modi is a good administrator who is able to convince others of his actions."
The reports said that Thomas felt more comfortable dealing with Modi than the leaders in his own party.
Following this, KPCC chief M M Hassan's letter to Thomas was circulated to the media wherein he asked the latter to explain if he ever made such a remark.
"Modi is the one who is going forward with anti-people policies and programmes and also supports atrocities and violence. We want to know if you (Thomas) made remarks praising Modi," Hassanâ€™s letter to Thomas reads.
In his response, Thomas on Saturday said that he was misquoted.
He said that he was speaking to management students and all he wanted to put across was -- "Despite making a lot of mistakes in his administration, Modi has been able to manage it by propagating lies".
Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala told the media that he spoke to Thomas about his comments and the latter explained that he never praised Modi.
Thomas was the Ernakulam MP from 1984 to 1996. He became a legislator in 2001 and was part of then Chief Minister A K Antonyâ€™s cabinet.
Thomas has always been considered close to former Congress President Sonia Gandhi and his alleged comments had triggered a massive internal row within the Kerala unit of the party, until his clarification.