In October 2018, Tharoor had stoked a controversy by invoking a news article where an unnamed RSS leader had compared Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a "scorpion sitting on a Shivling".
"There is an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to a journalist, who expressed their frustration to curb Modi -- 'Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a shivling. You can't remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a 'chappal' (slipper) either," he had said.
Tharoor had added, "If you try to touch the scorpion, you will be stung, but if you hit a shivling with the chappal, it undermines all the sacred tenets of the faith. That may well be an interesting clue to the rather complex dynamics that exist between the Hindutva movement and the Moditva expression on it."
Subsequently, a complaint was filed by Rajiv Babbar alleging that Tharoor's remarks hurt his religious sentiments.
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