The Congress on Tuesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of using "politics of victimhood" in poll campaign to escape accountability and divert public attention from "failures" of his government.
The opposition party also accused the prime minister of being solely responsible for lowering the level of public discourse in politics in the country and asked him to adhere to the advice of his predecessor Manmohan Singh to conduct himself in a manner which is worthy and consistent with his obligations as prime minister.
"We want to raise a very fundamental question about the campaign style of the prime minister. We saw this playing itself out in Gujarat and we have seen it in these five states. Why does the Prime Minister of India need to practice the politics of victimhood?" he asked.
He said be it Gujarat elections or the ongoing assembly polls, the prime minister has been portraying himself as a victim. "To escape responsibility for the failures of his government and to divert public attention from the failures and non-performance, the prime minister has been playing the politics of victimhood," he alleged.
The Congress' response came in the backdrop of Modi launching a scathing attack on the party in his election rallies, accusing it of targeting him for the last 18 years.
The prime minister alleged that the opposition party was targeting him for his caste and was not sparing even his mother.
Tewari, who is a former Union minister, said as the Prime Minister of India, Modi is fundamentally and primarily responsible for finding solutions to the problems of India, "but one has never heard the prime minister talking about either the challenges which people are facing or the performance of NDA-BJP Government".
"We do not hear from the prime minister that when crude is less than $60 per barrel, why is petrol and diesel selling at Rs 85-90 a litre.
"We do not hear an explanation from the prime minister on why is the LPG cylinder at Rs 1,000... why the Rupee is at an all-time low. We do not hear a single word from the Prime Minister on the Rafale deal.
"We do not hear from the prime minister as to why not even 8 lakh jobs employment opportunities could be created against the promise of 100 million jobs. We do not hear from the prime minister on why the autonomy of RBI was attacked," he said.
He said the "only thing that one hears from the prime minister are various variants of the politics of victimhood" and alleged that there is an attempt on a daily basis to deflect from the real issues of the people as the "government has not performed".
He charged Modi with lowering the level of public discourse in the country and alleged that it is the responsibility of the prime minister to ensure that it remains dignified.
"If he himself lowers the level of public discourse, it leads others in the BJP to think that this is the new normal," he alleged.
Tewari said Modi should take cognizance of the counsel of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to ensure that public discourse remains dignified.
Singh, during the launch of Tewari's book on Monday, said Modi should exercise restraint when he visits states not ruled by his party and set an example with his conduct which should be consistent with his obligations as the PM.
Asked about his advice to the prime minister at a time when the level of public discourse was falling, especially during elections, Singh said whenever he as prime minister used to go to BJP-ruled states, his relations with chief ministers were "very good".
He said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan would certify his claim that during the UPA government, BJP-ruled states were not discriminated against.
"So what I would say is that the prime minister of the country must set an example... he is the prime minister for all citizens of our country and his conduct must be worthy and consistent with that obligation that he has as prime minister," Singh had told the gathering.