Union minister Venkaiah Naidu has said that recent incidents of people hooting against chief ministers was a sign of their anger against the state governments and they should recognise this.
Naidu was reacting to a question over chief minister Prithviraj Chavan's decision to skip the function in Nagpur on Thursday where the prime minister launched the Metro rail project.
"Hooting is wrong. But the people are angry. What can we do? The chief ministers have an order from the top to not attend functions with the PM. The Congress should stop negative politics," Naidu said, while talking to journalists at the state BJP office.
Chavan apparently decided against attending the programme on the suggestion of the Congress party, after the crowd booed Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at a function in prime minister Narendra Modi's presence in Kaithal on Tuesday.
The Congress has accused the BJP, the RSS and the prime minister of a pre-planned, orchestrated exercise to humiliate chief ministers of Congress-ruled states.
On Thursday, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren was booed during his speech at an event attended by Modi in Ranchi. Soren, who runs the government with the support of the Congress, called the incident "a rape of the federal system".
Naidu, who is minister for urban development and parliamentary affairs, also denied allegations that the Centre had showed preference in clearing the Metro rail project for Nagpur over one for Pune. Pune is a stronghold of the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
He blamed the Cong-NCP for the delay on the Pune project. "There is no politics on the clearance of the projects. We had asked the state for clarifications on the Pune Metro proposal but did not get a response. We sent them reminders May through July and got an email from them only two days ago," the union minister said.
The state chief minister had alleged bias on the matter, saying that both the Nagpur and Pune projects were approved by the Centre in February.
Naidu also said that the Centre was keen on projects that would help to ease the traffic congestion in Mumbai. The Metro 3 rail project is one of them that would be given priority, he said. The union minister discussed the project with the chief minister during a meeting earlier in the day.