New Delhi, Jan 17 (PTI) The Congress Thursday sought to distance itself from its leader B K Hariprasad’s comments on ailing BJP chief Amit Shah, saying the party wished good health to leaders of opposition parties so that they contest elections soon.

Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said their leader Rahul Gandhi has already wished good health to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and there can be no doubt about the party’s intent.

“When the party president has very categorically wished good health to Union minister Arun Jaitley and all the leaders of the BJP, then I think there can be no other question, doubt about the Congress’ intent and our good wishes to opposition leaders,” she told reporters.

The Congress leader said they might oppose opposition leaders over ideas but would never wish anything bad for them.

“I wish good health to Amit Shah and BJP leaders Ravi Shankar Prasad ji and Arun Jaitley ji and all their other leaders who may be getting treated in a hospital,” Chaturvedi said.

She said the Congress wished them good health and speedy recovery so that they come back and contest elections.

When asked about the BJP’s attack over Hariprasad’s remarks, she said, “It reflects the mindset of BJP leaders who had made remarks about the ill-health of a leader of opposition when her health was not good.” “Whenever an opposition leader was unwell, we would not draw parallels of such mindset that BJP leaders displayed,” Chaturvedi said.

Senior Congress leader B K Hariprasad Thursday mocked BJP president Amit Shah over his health, saying he contracted swine flu since his party made an alleged bid to destabilise the Congress-JDS government in Karnataka.

“As a few legislators have already come back, Amit Shah is shaken and has got fever. It is not a normal fever. It is swine flu,” Hariprasad said in remarks made in Kannada in Bengaluru.

“You should know that if you try to destabilise the Karnataka government, not just swine flu, you will get vomiting and dysentery also,” he added.

The remark by Hariprasad, a Rajya Sabha MP and Congress general secretary, sparked an angry reaction from the BJP with the party’s Karnataka unit calling him a “rogue” and describing his remarks as “shameless” that showed his party’s “culture” and his “mental stability”.

The BJP also requested Rahul Gandhi to admit Hariprasad to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru for treatment.

Shah is down with swine flu and is admitted in AIIMS and he announced his sickness in a tweet.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.