A criminal defamation complaint has been filed against Congress leader Shashi Tharoor before a court in Delhi for his alleged “scorpion” remark against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Earlier Former Congress Minister  Shashi Tharoor had stoked a fresh controversy on Sunday while speaking at the Bangalore Literature Festival, claiming that an unnamed RSS leader had told him that “Mr Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling. You cannot move it with your hand, and you cannot hit it with a chappal (slipper) either.”

In his complaint, Delhi BJP leader Rajeev Babbar said his religious sentiments were hurt.

“I am a devotee of Lord Shiva… However, the accused (Shashi Tharoor) completely disregarded the sentiments of crores of Shiva’s devotees, made the statement which hurt the sentiments of all the Lord Shiva devotees, both in India and outside the country,” the complaint said.

“The complainant’s religious sentiments were hurt and the accused deliberately did this malicious act, intending to outrage religious feeling of Lord Shiva devotees by insulting their religious believes,” it said.

The complaint, filed through advocate Neeraj, termed the statement as an “intolerable abuse” and “absolute vilification” of the faith of millions of people.

The complaint was filed under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code relating to defamation. The matter will likely be heard next Saturday.

Earlier for this “scorpion” remark Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad demanded an apology from Congress president Rahul Gandhi.

“Rahul Gandhi, you claim be to a Shiv Bhakt. Please reply to this very horrific denunciation of Lord Mahadev by giving an apology for what Tharoor has done,” Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.