Close on the heels of Sonia Gandhi being depicted as goddess in Uttar Pradesh, a poster released by a former Congress MLA showing the party President as Maharani Laxmibai of Jhansi has triggered a fresh controversy in Madhya Pradesh.
The state Congress described the move as an "over-enthusiastic gesture" by Kailash Sonkar and said action will be taken against him as per AICC directives.
Demanding an apology from Congress, state BJP president Narendra Singh Tomar said the contribution of Laxmibai cannot be matched by any leader.
Sonkar, who claims to have prepared the poster on May 22, 2004 after UPA came to power at the Centre, had been using it at several party functions organised in the city.
Titled "khoob ladi mardani woh to dus janpath dilli wali rani" (she is the queen of 10 Janpath who fought bravely), the poster shows Sonia, armed for battle, riding a horse with her son, Rahul strapped on her back.
It also carries photographs of Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra.
"India has a history of women who have made sacrifices. Like Maharani Laxmibai, Soniaji," Sonkar told reporters.
"She brought back the disintegrating Congress flock together and defeated the NDA," he said, adding women should be inspired by Sonia and identify their strengths to fight for the society.