Tripura Chief Minister and BJP leader Biplab Deb has repeatedly found himself mired in controversy. From claiming that Internet and satellite communication had existed in the days of the Mahabharata to opining that former Miss World Diana Hayden did not represent Indian beauty - the list is rather long.
More recently, he had reminiscence about a conversation with now Home Minister Amit Shah, explaining that the party leader had talked about forming BJP governments in other countries. The interaction had come against the backdrop of the BJP coming to power in several states, and Deb quotes Shah as saying that there was still some things left to be done.
"In response, the minister said that Nepal and Sri Lanka are still left. He said that we have to expand the party to Sri Lanka and Nepal. We have to win there too," Deb recalled.
While many are firmly convinced that he had been joking, the bloodthirsty denizens of social media have cheered on the idea. And as the BJP leader faces backlash from politicians across party lines, Nepal too appears to be unamused.
Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Tuesday confirmed that the Government of Nepal has conveyed its formal objection to the remarks by India's ruling party leader. Responding to a social media user who had brought the remark to his attention, said that "formal objection has been already conveyed".
Nepal is not the only country to react so sharply. Days earlier, Sri Lanka's Election Commission Chairman Nimal Punchihewa had shot down reports of the BJP planning to set up a political unit in the island nation, saying the country's electoral law does not permit such an arrangement.
"Any Sri Lankan political party or group is permitted to have external links with any party or group overseas. But, our electoral laws do not permit overseas political parties to work here," Punchihewa told reporters in Colombo.
(With inputs from agencies)