New Delhi: Delhi’s Rouse Avenue court on Tuesday issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for his controversial ‘scorpion on Shivling’ remark for Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.

The NBW was issued in a defamation case filed against the Thiruvananthapuram MP by BJP leader Rajeev Babbar. It was issued after he did not appear in the court for a hearing in the case.

The controversy stems from a remark made by Tharoor at an event in Delhi last October. Speaking at an event, he had claimed that a senior Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader, whom he did not name, had remarked to him that Modi was like a ‘scorpion on a Shivling’-you can neither remove it with hand nor will you use your slippers to remove it.”

Tharoor had also called the remark an ‘extraordinarily striking metaphor.’ Quoting the said RSS leader, he further said that there were some leaders in the Sangh who were frustrated at not being able to control the Prime Minister.

As expected, the remark had triggered a massive row, with Babbar filing a defamation case against Tharoor, whose remarks, he claimed had hurt his ‘religious sentiments.’ Calling Tharoor’s remark ‘deliberate and malicious,’ Babbar had said that it was intended to hurt religious sentiments of thousands of Lord Shiva devotees.

Tharoor had called the complaint against him ‘frivolous.’ Later, he was granted bail by the Rouse Avenue court on a personal bond of Rs 20,000.