A Maharashtra BJP spokesperson on Friday described Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the "11th incarnation" of Lord Vishnu, prompting ridicule by the Opposition, with the Congress calling it an "insult" to the gods.
"Hon PM @narendramodi ji is the 11th #Avatar (incarnation) of Lord Vishnu (sic)," state BJP spokesperson Avadhut Wagh said on Twitter.
Talking to a Marathi news channel, he said, "The country is fortunate that we have got a god-like leader in Modi."
Attacking Mr. Wagh, state Congress spokesperson Atul Londhe said it was an "insult" to the gods.
"This is also an attempt to find lost political ground (by Wagh). I do not think this (comment) needs to be given much importance," he added.
The remark was reflective of the "low level of culture" within the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mr. Londhe said.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Jitendra Awhad also took a dig at Wagh.
"Wagh is an engineering graduate from VJTI. There is a need now to check if his certificate (degree) is genuine. This was not expected from him," he told reporters in Mumbai.
The Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) is an engineering college in Mumbai. Founded in 1887, it is one of the oldest engineering colleges in Asia. It was known as the Victoria Jubilee Technical Institute until it adopted its present name on January 26, 1997.