New Delhi/Bhopal: BJP president Nitin Gadkari landed in a controversy over drawing a comparison between the IQ level of Swami Vivekanand and fugitive don Dawood Ibhrahim in remarks which drew fire from the Congress.

Attempting to douse the controversy, Gadkari denied he had said Vivekananda and the underworld don had the same Intelligence Quotient(IQ) level and insisted his views had been presented in a wrong manner by the media.

"I have only said if someone utilises his brain in a good way, he is Vivekanand and if he does not, he is evil. There is no comparison and whatever I have said was presented in a wrong way, which is not right," he told reporters in Delhi.

Congress while slamming Gadkari for his remark, said it demonstrated BJP's "level of thinking and mentality" and demanded an apology.

Speaking at an award ceremony in Bhopal on Sunday, Gadkari said the IQ level of Vivekanand and Dawood could have been the same, but the spiritual leader had used it for nation building while the underworld don for pursuing crime.

"In psychology, we measure IQ level of people...But it depends from person to person, in which area they use their intelligence," he said.

"As per psychology if we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekanand and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been the same. But Vivekanand used it in nation building, brotherhood and spiritualism while Dawood used that in excelling in crime world," Gadkari said.

Information and Broadcasting minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari said Gadkari's speech is "yet another manifestation of their culture and mentality."

"How can anyone compare one of India's foremost thought leaders with a criminal or with somebody who has clearly dubious and notorious records," he asked.

Tewari said a "mere clarification" would not suffice and the BJP should "apologise" to the people of this country, and specifically to the thinking people and the leaders of future.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who has been targeting the BJP chief over his business links, took to Twitter to target Gadkari. "In a function in Bhopal Gadkari said 'IQ of Swami Vivekanand and Dawood Ibrahim was same'. Any comment from (Narender) Modi and his fans?" Singh tweeted. Tewary said while on the one hand there were BJP leaders like Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi who "professes loyalty and sincerity to the ideals of Swami Vivekanand" on the other the party chief was comparing the spiritual leader to Dawood.

Putting a counter question to BJP, senior Congress leader Jagdambika Pal asked "If somebody tomorrow compares Gadkari's IQ with Kasab what will BJP anwser?"

AICC spokesperson Renuka Chowdhury said people can understand if Gadkari has Vivekanand in his heart but why the comparison with Dawood. "Has he kept both in his heart? Since this comparison has come from his heart only he can understand," she said.

With Congress going ballistic at Gadkari, BJP leader Balbir Punj denied he had likened the spiritual leader with Dawood.

"He did not liken Vivekanand to Dawood, he only brought out the contrast," he said, adding the party president "was only stating a fact" that any kind of power, money or intellect, can be used to pursue good or evil things. Meanwhile, RSS came to the defence of Gadkari saying the controversy should be put to an end as he has clarified that he never meant to compare those two people.

"Gadkari himself has said he was quoted out of context. He never meant to compare those two people. The controversy should end...he has already clarified he was quoted out of context," RSS spokesman Ram Madhav said.

Gadkari denies comparing Vivekananda and Dawood

BJP President Nitin Gadkari on Monday denied that he had said Swami Vivekanand and don Dawood Ibrahim had the same IQ and insisted that his views had been presented in a wrong manner by the media.

"I have only said if someone utilises his brain in a good way, he is Vivekanand and if he does not, he is evil. There is no comparison and whatever I have said was presented in a wrong way, which is not right," Gadkari told reporters here.

Speaking at a programme in Bhopal yesterday, Gadkari had reportedly said both Vivekanand and Dawood had the same IQ but one went on to become a saint and the other took to crime.

He was apparently trying to argue that the course an individual adopts in life decides his future.

(Agencies)

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