The Congress appears to be in damage control mode following controversial remarks by Punjab party unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu's two advisors - Pyare Lal Garg and Malwinder Singh Mali - on sensitive issues like Kashmir and Pakistan.
Sensing trouble, Sidhu summoned both Garg and Mali to his Patiala residence on Monday to discuss their recent comments on Pakistan, Kashmir and the controversial sketch of late PM Indira Gandhi posted by one of them on social media.
Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari voiced discontent over statements made by Sidhu's aides and suggested that they should be sacked from the party.
"Do such people even have the right to live in the country, forget about being in the Party?" Tewari said.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has grabbed the opportunity to launch a sharp criticism of Congress. BJP leader Sambit Patra asked whether Rahul Gandhi had appointed Sidhu's advisors?
"Their comments are appalling and paint India in a bad picture. It shows the thought process of the party. Will Mr. Rahul Gandhi answer whether he appointed Sidhu's advisors? Patra said.
Earlier, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh asked Sidhu to 'rein in' his advisors.
In a statement, Singh warned against such "atrocious and ill-conceived comments that were potentially dangerous to the peace and stability of the state and the country".
The chief minister, who has been at loggerheads with Sidhu in the past, trained his guns on the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief's advisors.
He urged them to stick to giving advice to Sidhu and not speak on matters "of which they clearly had little or no knowledge and had no understanding of the implications of their comments".
In a recent social media post, Mali had waded into the issue of revocation of Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
He had reportedly said if Kashmir was a part of India, then what was the need to have Articles 370 and 35A.
(With inputs from agencies)