Thiruvananthapuram: Congress leader AP Abdullakutty has courted controversy by praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the BJP-led NDA's massive victory in the Lok Sabha election, prompting the party to seek an explanation from him.
Pointing out that the victory was acceptance of PM Modi's development agenda, he said the secret of the PM's success was that he had adopted Gandhian values.
He also hailed the centre's Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (SBA), which envisages cleaning up India's cities, towns and rural areas and to eliminate open defecation through construction of household-owned and community owned toilets.
The congress leader also lauded the Ujjwala Yojana in which the government's aim was to distribute 50 million LPG connections to women of BPL families.
In a Facebook post, titled "On Narendra Modi's impressive victory", Mr Abdullakutty said not only the opposition, but even those inside the BJP have been taken by surprise at the saffron party's massive victory.
All political workers should keep their feelings apart, and keenly take a look at the results in a "calm and impartial manner," he said.
Mr Abdullakutty, who had been sacked from CPI(M) in 2009 for violating party discipline for praising PM Modi while he was the Gujarat chief minister, had served as MP from Kannur in 1999 and 2004. He later joined the Congress.
"Mahatma Gandhi had told social workers that when you formulate a policy, you should remember the face of a poor man whom you have met. Modi implemented it accurately," Mr Abdullakutty said.
The centre's flagship SBA project helped 9.16 crore families get their own toilets and the Ujjwala scheme enabled 6 crore BPL families get free LPG connections, he said.
"Once, we cross Kerala border, what we see is independent India's most pathetic sight-- open defecation by the poor of the country. Modi, to a certain extent, gave justice to them. The free LPG connections was a huge relief to 6 crore BPL mothers, who until then, used dried cowdung and wood in their kitchens...," he said.
Smart cities, bullet trains and many other dream projects were brought into PM Modi's political agenda and one cannot turn a blind eye to these facts, the two-time former MP said.
"Our politics is changing completely. Victory is with development. When Modi is criticised, these facts should be remembered," he said in the post.
Meanwhile, Congress' Kerala president Mullapally Ramachandran Tuesday said the party will seek an explanation from Mr Abdullakutty on his PM Modi praise.
"My opinion is strong action should be taken against him," he told reporters.
Dismissing the remarks, senior Congress leader K Muraleedharan, who was recently elected to the Lok Sabha, said the act of praising PM Modi by any congress worker cannot be accepted and was wrong.
"There is no compromise on this matter," he said.
State youth congress president Dean Kuriakose, who won the Lok Sabha polls from Idukki, also came out against Mr Abdullakutty's remarks.
Taking a dig, CPI(M) leader and Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan said Mr Abdullakutty is waiting to join the BJP.