NEW DELHI: As their war of words intensified, Congress today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of showing "arrogance of power" after people faced hardships due to his Chandigarh rally and said it had become his "habit" to commit mistakes and then apologise.
The opposition party alleged that Modi's claims of bringing down prices of essential commodities was yet another instance of "hawabaazi" (empty talk), repeating the barb which had riled the Prime Minister, and said he cannot understand the problem of rising prices as he does not a have family to take care of.
Dubbing it as "VIP racism", Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala dismissed Prime Minister's remarks expressing regret over the inconvenience caused to the people during his rally today.
"It has just become his habit in the last 15 months to commit mistakes and then apologise.
"If there is an apology, it should reflect (in deeds)," he told reporters, adding that Modi should apologise to the Kargil war hero who was allegedly not allowed to cremate his young son in Chandrigarh due to security arrangements and to local Congress leaders "who had been locked up by the police for 12 hours".
Surjewala alleged that people are suffering due to the "hawabaazi, chalbazi and dagabazi" of the Modi administration and accused it of resorting to "empty talk, manipulation and betrayal".
In Chandigarh, the Prime Minister today hit out at Congress over deadlock in Parliament, saying 40 MPs are "conspiring" to hamper the country's development against the wishes of 400 MPs due to their "arrogance" and "negative politics".
Hitting back at Sonia Gandhi over her "hawabaazi" barb against him, Modi had yesterday alleged that "scamsters (hawala-baaz) are unnerved" due to the tough stance of the government on black money and are putting "roadblocks in the reforms agenda".
Slamming the local administration in Chandigarh for shutting down all 187 public schools for Modi's visit, Surjewala today also took exception to Prime Minister making a speech with political overtones at the rally, which he claimed was organised by the Chandigarh Housing Board.
"It is sheer abuse of power as the expenditure for the meeting was done by the flat owners of Chandigarh as the Chandigarh Housing board footed the bill. It is an example of 'Mal kisi ka, kamal kisi ka (someone foots the bill, while someone else takes the laurels)," he said.
On Modi's remarks that he would take to "Jan Sabhas" (public meetings) if the government's voice is "throttled" in the Lok Sabha, Surjewala said, "We wish the Prime Minister will not misuse funds from the public exchequer to hold the public rallies".
Surjewala ridiculed Prime Minister's claims that his government has brought down prices of essential commodities.
"He does not have a family to take care of, so he doesn't know how an ordinary housewife feels the pinch of the rising prices.
"It is all hawabaazi (empty talk) that the government has been able to check the price rise," Surjewala, said detailing the "rise in prices" of essential commodities since Modi assumed office.