Stung by the hooting of its chief minister in Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress on Wednesday saw a "design" behind such incidents and said no self-respecting Opposition chief minister should attend "political functions" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Party sources said many Congress leaders are of the view that as far as possible Congress Chief Ministers should follow only the minimum protocol during the Prime Minister's visit and not be rushing to attend his functions as such incidents can be "engineered" by the BJP for political gains in poll-bound states.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has also been apprised of the view in writing. There is also a likelihood that the leadership may ask its chief ministers to adopt a cautious approach during such functions.
"There is a political design behind this. The Prime Minister has visited poll-bound states like Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Haryana and tomorrow he is visiting Jharkhand.
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren should be cautious. It's not only about Congress chief ministers.
"All self-respecting chief ministers of the Opposition should avoid political functions of Modi, which are being held in the name of public functions," AICC general secretary in-charge for Haryana Shakeel Ahmed told PTI.
His reaction came a day after the Haryana chief minister was left red faced as a hostile crowd hooted him at a function in the Prime Minister's presence, following which the angry Congress leader said he would boycott such events with PM.
Hooda faced the embarrassment during the foundation stone laying function of a highway project by Modi in Haryana. As he rose to deliver his speech, the crowd gathered there raised slogans against him and the Congress government.
There was continuous hooting against the two-time chief minister of Haryana, which goes to polls in October, and pro-Modi slogans were raised, much to Hooda's discomfort.
Later, a fuming chief minister blamed BJP for the incident.
Ahmed said that this seems to be the modus operandi of the BJP and Modi to embarrass Opposition chief ministers in election-going statess publicly to derive political mileage.
"This has happened both in Haryana and Maharashtra. Party cadre are called to embarrass chief ministers of other parties deliberately," he said.
At Solapur, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had to discontinue his speech midway as he was booed and the crowd began chanting Modi's name during a function for the inauguration of the four-lane National Highway number 9 by the Prime Minister on August 16.
In Jharkhand, Congress is a coalition partner in the government headed by JMM's Hemant Soren.