- Smriti Irani hit out at Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on dynasty
- "Most of the country runs like this:" Mr Gandhi on dynastic privileges
- The BJP leader also described Mr Gandhi as "a failed dynast"
Smriti Irani said in the last national elections, when PM Modi and the BJP won a historic mandate, Mr Gandhi's party suffered its biggest defeat and that showed that "India is not dynastic in nature."
Reacting to Ms Irani's attack on Rahul Gandhi, the Congress said the criticism by the government is "unwarranted and unjustified".
"It is the Prime Minister of India who is guilty of insulting India on international soil. The Prime Minister called the country corrupt on his first visit abroad and also said on another occasion that Indians used to feel ashamed to accept they are Indian on international soil," Congress' Anand Sharma said.
Rahul Gandhi, who began a two-week tour to the US by addressing students at the University of California's Berkeley today, had been asked about accusations that he is a dynast, when he said, "Most of the country runs like this. That's how India works."
In his speech, Mr Gandhi attacked PM Modi and the BJP, alleging that "politics of divide and polarisation is radicalising and isolating people in India." He also alleged that faulty implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and last year's notes ban have led to a decline in economic growth.
Smriti Irani's point by point rebuttal was laced with barbs. She said it was not new for Mr Gandhi to attack the Prime Minister, but "since his attacks were not working at home, he has gone abroad. He seems to have forgotten that the voter is here in India."
The minster rued that the opposition leader had no good words to speak about cooperative federalism in his speech abroad.
Smriti Irani, who is the cabinet minister for Information and Broadcasting and for Textiles, had taken on Mr Gandhi in the 2014 national election in his family stronghold Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. Though Mr Gandhi won, it was by a much reduced margin compared to earlier years.
Ms Irani, who is a Rajya Sabha MP and was elected to a second term last month, often visits Amethi making scathing assessments of Mr Gandhi's performance as its Member of Parliament.