The Congress removed Mora-dabad district president AS Soni from his post after posters depicting party chief Sonia Gandhi as the goddess Durga were put up in his office wall.
Strongly condemning the poster, Sonia asked the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee to inquire into the matter, identify the person(s) responsible for it and take immediate action to expel them from the party if they are found to be Congressmen.
"In case the person/persons involved do not belong to the Congress, then steps should be taken to initiate legal proceedings against the perpetrators," Sonia said, according to a statement issued by Janardan Dwivedi.
Spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan was asked whether the party would issue an apology for hurting the sentiments of the people — a demand the Congress itself had made when a calendar depicting BJP leader and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje as a goddess was published.
"The BJP leadership has not taken any action regarding the calendar or the persons behind it. But Sonia has condemned the appearance of the poster…the Congress has reacted promptly and even taken action," Natarajan said, evidently trying to draw a difference between the Congress and the BJP's responses.
Asked by the media why the party did not threaten legal action if the perpetrator turned out to be a Congressman, Natarajan said the next course of action would depend on the findings of the inquiry.