The Congress on Tuesday said it has not demonised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that it is the latter who insulted its former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi with "uncharitable criticism".
The party also said that if the opposition starts praising the government, then democracy would be ruined.
Speaking to reporters at the party headquarters, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said, "I have also read that people are asking not to demonise the Prime Minister. People in our party have their own opinion."
He said, "I will say only one thing not specific to any person that we didn't demonise anyone, but such criticism was made by the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi), (BJP chief) Amit Shah, and other BJP leaders against our leaders."
Sharma said, "They are the ones who demonised Jawaharlal Nehru and made most uncharitable criticism of nation's martyred Prime Ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi".
The Congress leader's response came following statements of several senior party leaders such as Shashi Tharoor, Abhishek Manu Singhvi and Jairam Ramesh that criticising Prime Minister on every issue is not good.
Sharma said, "If the opposition starts praising the government, then democracy will be destroyed."
When asked about Kerala Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran preparing to send a notice to Tharoor for "backing" the Prime Minister, Sharma said, "I cannot comment on it... it is between general secretary in-charge Mukul Wasnik and the state President."
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)