The Congress on Tuesday defended party vice-president Rahul Gandhi's remarks at the University of California in Berkeley, U.S.A., saying that in a democracy, it is justified to condemn a prime minister and he should have been prepared for this by now.
Congress leader Anand Sharma, in a press briefing, clarified that Rahul's intentions were not to belittle the prime minister.
"Rahul Gandhi wasn't belittling the prime minister. He did refer to him as the prime minister of the country. But it is justified to condemn a prime minister in a democracy," Anand told the reporters here.
He even accused the ruling government of forcefully imposing their ideology on the people.
"If they think we will ask them before making any statement, they are wrong. They should be prepared for this kind of attacks," he added.
He even hit back at Union Minister Smriti Irani for her remark on Rahul Gandhi and advised her to focus on her work to bring some fruitful result.
"Smriti Irani has achieved nothing. She failed in her role as an HRD minister. It would be good if she focusses on the new portfolio assigned to her. Smriti Irani is unaware of the history. She even modifies the fact," he said.
Earlier in the day, Irani unleashed a tirade against Rahul and asserted that latter highlighting the fact that the grand old party donned arrogance in the 2012 under the helm of her mother Sonia Gandhi and hence, lost elections is a huge political confession.
Cornering Gandhi over his comments in regard with 'dynasty politics', Irani said none of the incumbent top leaders of the nation are dynasts.
"Rahul Gandhi said that in 2012, he realised that the Congress is becoming arrogant, but he forgot that it was the year when his mother Sonia Gandhi took over as the Congress president. To say that Congress became arrogant under Smt. Gandhi and hence lost election is a big political confession in itself," Irani said.
"Rahul Gandhi said dynasts run India, but our own Prime Minister, our President and our Vice-President are not dynasts," she added.
Downplaying Gandhi's comments against Prime Minister Modi, Irani said that it was not surprising rather was expected out of a failed dynast.
"A failed dynast today chose to speak about his failed political journeys in US. Rahul Gandhi belittled his political opponents in America. It is not surprising that a dynast has absolutely no support," said Irani.
"The fact that Rahul Gandhi chose to belittle the Prime Minister is not surprising rather it was expected. After not getting any support within the country, Rahul Gandhi is expressing his pain in foreign land," she added.
Rahul Gandhi, earlier in the day, hit back at those who have accused him of reaping the benefits of "dynasty politics", and justified the charges against him, saying that the entire nation is running on it and hence, one should not go only after him.
Responding to a poser at the University of California in Berkeley, Rahul didn't even spare the Ambanis and the Bachchans and said that in every field, there are numerous dynasts.
"Most of the country runs like this. Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast. Stalin is a dynast. Dhumal's son is a dynast. Even Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast. Also Mr. Ambani, that's how India runs. Don't go after me," he said here.
He also accused Prime Minister Modi of massively opening up space for the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)