New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday claimed there was an "orchestrated" and "well-planned conspiracy" behind the heckling of opposition chief ministers as it justified Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan`s decision not to attend events with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Nagpur.
Targeting the Prime Minister over the issue, AICC general secretary Ambika Soni said that no one has the right to "humiliate" duly elected chief ministers by "inciting" supporters and said that Modi should immediately ask his partymen to desist from such acts.
"This is a well-thought out plan, a conspiracy... If the Prime Minister was serious, he should have sent a directive to his partymen immediately to stop doing all this," Soni said.
But she remained non-committal on whether the party high command has issued any direction to its chief ministers to avoid Modi`s functions saying, "No such direction is required to be given" as both Chavan and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda are experienced leaders.
At the same time, Soni stressed that "the entire Congress party is of the opinion that we will not tolerate any such insult. Whatever they (the chief ministers) have done is right. We are fully behind them".
She said it was not a big thing for Congress to push 500 supporters to "humiliate" Modi at such meetings, but that would affect the dignity of the post.
Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari alleged that BJP cadres are "deployed to humiliate" public representatives belonging to Congress in an "orchestrated" manner.
He said that if somebody is to be blamed for the situation, then it is BJP.
"It was up to the Prime Minister to ensure, since he was present on the dais, that such untoward incidents do not take place. After all, if the prime minister of India is incapable of maintaining the dignity of a chief minister, then who else is going to maintain it," he said.
The reactions from Congress came on a day when Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren of JMM was heckled by crowds in the presence of Prime Minister Modi at a function in Ranchi following similar scenes faced in recent days by the Congress chief ministers of Maharashtra and Haryana.