Congress on Tuesday did not take lightly to Mani Shankar Aiyar's description of the "mela" in the party as a "circus" calling him a "loose canon" and that his remarks were "uncalled for".
"Unfortunately, Mani Shankar Aiyar has a reputation of being a loose canon at the deck of Indian politics. He has been a member of the Congress party for a fairly long time and such remarks are absolutely uncalled for," said party spokesperson Manish Tewari.
He was reacting to Aiyar's remarks at a book release function likening the happenings around the residence of Sonia Gandhi, Ahmed Patel and the party headquarters to a circus.
At the AICC headquarters, party general secretary Janardhanan Dwivedi also disapproved of Aiyar's remarks.
"In the life of a nation, there are certain symbols and one should be more careful and sensitive about them," Tewari said.
However, Aiyar on Tuesday sought to downplay his remarks clarifying that "it was not the party but the mela at 24, Akbar Road (Congress headquarters) that I had described as a circus."
As for party leader Satyvrat Chaturvedi's "pertinent question", he said "I am neither the joker or the trapeze artiste at the circus but the caged lion."
Aiyar said former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi used to laugh uproariously at these jokes and expressed hope that he "trusts the Congress has not lost its capacity to laugh at itself".
At the function, he had said "those who have got their work done visit 10, Janpath (Congress President Sonia Gandhi's residence), while those with some hope of getting their work done visit 23 (Congress chief's Political Secretary Ahmed Patel's residence), Willingdon Crescent".
"Those who have lost all the hope and are dejected come to 24, Akbar Road," he had said.
"Such people who have lost hope come here with the belief that meeting up people who have a table and a chair (a party post) would help them but little do they know that of the 10 people sitting inside, five are trying to reach some higher post themselves while five others are in a downward spiral," he said.
"Sometimes, people taste success, sometimes they fail. This is kind of a fair (mela) and every Congressman has to join this circus," Aiyar said.