New Delhi: As Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra founds himself at the centre of a controversy after he pushed away a reporter's mike over a question on his land deals, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit has appeared critical of such behaviour.
Congress leader and ex-Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit appeared critical of Vadra's behaviour and said basic civility should be maintained while dealing with the media.
Dikshit, however, added that he was expressing his personal views and not in the capacity of Congress spokesperson.
While the Congress has come forward in all out defence of Vadra, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) attacked him for his "inappropriate behaviour".
The Congress, which in the past said Vadra was a private citizen, defended him, saying "repeated hounding" of an individual is not appropriate and advised the media to avoid "unpleasantness" of shooting questions at private functions, like what happened to him.
BJP spokesman Sambit Patra said: "It was the sheer frustration of Robert Vadra that became manifested as inappropriate behaviour against a journalist.
"Vadra was the one who had called India a 'Banana Republic' and we Indians as 'mango people'. It is time we make him realise that India is no more a Banana Republic which was ruled by the first family of the Congress."
Congress party spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala chided the journalist for not giving "personal space and liberty" to a person "neither in public nor (holding) any public office".
"It is clear that entire episode is being propagated as a political agenda for obvious reasons which cannot be considered either fair or proper," Surjewala said.
Congress also reminded BJP of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "shoddy treatment" of two journalists whey they questioned him on Gujarat riots when he was the state's chief minister.
"I want to remind leaders of BJP and friends of the media as to how none less than the current Prime Minister (the then Chief Minister) Narendra Modi had removed the mike and walked out of a pre-fixed interview with a leading journalist who questioned him about Gujarat riots," he said.
On Saturday, Vadra lost his cool and pushed aside the microphone of a reporter at a five-star hotel gym when he was quizzed about his controversial land deals in Haryana.
Vadra thrice asked the reporter "Are you serious?" and once "Are you nuts?" before pushing away the journalist's microphone and calling him an "idiot". He then walked away, followed by his guards.
Sonia Gandhi on Sunday visited her daughter Priyanka and son-in-law's residence.
Congress sources said Gandhi spent nearly half an hour at the Lodhi Estate residence, but what they may have discussed was not known.
Commenting on the incident, CPI leader D Raja said it was an "unacceptable conduct" and that it should be seen how the I&B ministry will take up the issue.