Digvijaya Singh
Digvijaya SinghReuters

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh took a swipe at the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying he needs to attend history classes before addressing another public gathering.

Modi, BJP's prime ministerial nominee, caused embarrassment for his party during a recent rally when he got confused between the names of Gujarati freedom fighter Shyamji Krishna Varma and Jana Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookherjee.

"Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was a revolutionist. He died in 1930. His last wish was that his ashes should be brought to India after independence, and till then, it was in Geneva," Modi had said.

According to reports, Mookerjee died in 1953 in Gujarat and not in London, England.

Digvijaya Singh said that Modi needed to take a few lessons in history with the top BJP leadership. "I am surprised that BJP didn't find anyone with any knowledge of history to be their PM candidate. Narendra Modi must take a few classes in history with top leaders of BJP," Singh said.

Modi later apologised to the public on the same stage saying, "I wanted to refer to Shyamaji Krishna Varma not Shyama Prasad Mookherjee. I apologise for my mistake."

"If he becomes prime minister and talks the same way at the UN too, what will happen to our respect?," Singh added.  

This is not first time that Modi made such a mistake in a historical reference.

Last month, Digvijaya Singh had castigated Modi's claim that India's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru did not attend Sardar Vallabhai Patel's funeral. Modi had backtracked on his words later, when Congress provided a video of the funeral procession.