Bengaluru: Speaking at the Bengaluru Literature Festival, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Sunday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “scorpion sitting on a Shivling”, quoting an unnamed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) source.

“There is an extraordinarily striking metaphor expressed by an unnamed RSS source to a journalist that ‘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 either’,” said Tharoor. 

The Congress MP was referring to a piece, ‘The Emperor Uncrowned’ published in The Caravan magazine where an unnamed RSS leader used this metaphor.

Tharoor was in Bangalore to promote his new book The Paradoxical Prime Minister: Narendra Modi and His India.

Earlier, in an interview to PTI, Tharoor said that Modi could have succeeded as prime minister, but "failed" on account of poor prescriptions despite often getting his diagnoses right.

"It's too late for a message now. The message is: Sorry Mr Modi, you have failed. It is time to go," he said. 

The sitting MP from Thiruvananthapuram and a former minister of state, Tharoor, however, noted that Modi could have been a successful prime minister had he genuinely concentrated on economic development and on the promises that powered him to victory in 2014.

Tharoor said that instead of his promises of ushering in transformational change in the country's progress and economic development, Modi focussed on his vote bank and gave a free hand to elements that indulged in lynching, cow vigilantism and attacks on minorities and Dalits.

Tharoor's comment drew sharp criticism from Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who said, Tharoor, who is accused of murder, has attempted to disrespect Lord Shiva.

With inputs from PTI