Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel on Sunday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his flip-flop policy on Pakistan and his questioning the patriotism of opposition leaders, saying that describing ideological opponents as sympathisers of terrorism also amounts to "treason".
"If Modiji talks to Pakistan, it is in national interest, but if others hold peace talks, they are dubbed pro-terrorism and pro-Pakistan. From where "sahab" (Modi) you bring such hypocrisy? The country will never forgive you for making such kind of joke in the name of patriotism," Patel said in a series of tweets.
His remarks came in the wake of Modi extending greetings to Pakistan on the eve of its National Day on March 22, after weeks of heightened tension between the two neighbouring countries triggered by the February 14 Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF troopers.
Patel, the media advisor of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, said the meaning of patriotism is to love both the country and its citizens.
"Respecting every ideology is the core of patriotism. It is also a treason if someone calls his ideological opponents the sympathisers of terrorism," Patel said.
The Rajya Sabha MP also said the Congress never uses such kind of undignified remarks against its opponents because the "country belongs to everyone and this is the real meaning of patriotism".
Modi and senior BJP leaders have been accusing the Congress of insulting the armed forces by questioning the Indian Air Force (IAF) air strikes in Balakot in Pakistan.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi's chief advisor Sam Pitroda's recent remarks referring to the February 14 Pulwama terror attack have also stirred a controversy.