At an event on Monday, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar drew parallels between Mahatma Gandhi and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling the former "'mahapurush" (great man) of the last century and the latter "yugpurush" (man of the century).
During his address at an event dedicated to Jain mystic and philosopher Shrimad Rajchandraji, Dhankhar said, "I would like to tell you one thing, The mahapurush of last century was Mahatma Gandhi. Narendra Modi is the yugpurush of this century."
He added, "Mahatma Gandhi freed us from the slavery of the British with truth and non-violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has put the country on the path of progress on which we always wanted to see."
The Vice-President said that both Mahatma Gandhi and PM Modi reflected the spirit and teachings of Shrimad Rajchandraji.
His statement drew criticism from Congress leader Manickam Tagore who said it was "shameful" to compare Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Mahatma Gandhi.
In a post on X, Manickam Tagore wrote, "If you compare with Mahatma it's shameful sir, we all know there is a limit to sycophancy now you have crossed that limit, and to be in your chair and position and to be a sycophant does not add value sir."
Bahujan Samaj Party MP Danish Ali also reacted to Dhankhar's remarks, wondering what "new era has been started in Parliament by allowing an MP from the Prime Minister's party to use abusive language against a particular community".
His statement was in reference to the BJP MP Ramesh Bidhuri's objectionable remarks against the BSP leader in the Lok Sabha in September during a discussion on the Chandrayaan-3 mission.
Meanwhile, at the event, the Vice-President also spoke about the importance of unity against forces that resist India's progress, emphasising the nation's ancient civilization that dates back over 5,000 years.