Outgoing Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari, has said there is a feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity among Muslims in the country and the atmosphere of acceptance is under threat. The interview emerged on a day dedicated to farewell speeches in his honour in the Rajya Sabha, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: "We have learnt a lot from you."
But outside parliament, a leader of the ruling BJP reacted sharply to Mr Ansari's comments, describing them as a "political statement" made by someone angling for a political job after retirement.
"He couldn't talk like this before but now he is outgoing, in search of a political role he is making such statements that are inappropriate for a person at such a position," Kailash Vijayavargiya told NDTV.
"We disagree with him," added the BJP national general secretary.
He said it was apparent from the comments that Mr Ansari wants to join politics. "It is unbecoming for such high stature to make such sweeping comments."
Asked whether the BJP believed Mr Ansari had a bipartisan role in the house, Mr Vijayavargiya replied, "He has made mistakes, deliberately or not I can't say." He didn't clarify.
In the middle of the buzz over his remarks, which many believed discomfited the party in power, top BJP leaders praised Mr Ansari in the Rajya Sabha, where he chaired the house for the last time.
PM Modi said he had "great respect" for the outgoing vice president and noted that he came from a family with an illustrious history of over 100 years in public life.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was grinning when he referred to one of Mr Ansari's rebukes from the past. "Your tenure had many interesting anecdotes... I only remember one of them, when in exasperation you called us a federation of anarchists. And then rather than take an offence to it, some of us - and I was one of the culprits in that - we wanted the chair to set up a precedent of expunging its own remarks. You use that as an opportunity for a democratic debate," he said.