The BJP on Thursday accused the Congress of "seeking benefit from challenges" the country is facing currently, and said the opposition party is indulging in "political slander" which is "unfortunate but expected".
Senior BJP leader and Union minister Smriti Irani's hard-hitting counter attack on the Congress came after opposition party president Sonia Gandhi took a swipe at the Modi government, saying the entire country has heard the cries of pain of migrants except the Centre.
Ms Gandhi also urged the Centre to unlock its coffers to help those affected by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
Reacting strongly to Ms Gandhi's remarks, Ms Irani said, "it is unfortunate that when the nation needs to stand united against the COVID-19 pandemic, certain political parties are seeking benefit from challenges the country faces".
Alleging that the Congress was practising petty politics and was trying to "break" the country's resolve, the minister said, she is shocked at the attempts of some opposition party leaders to draw political mileage in the name of the pandemic.
Ms Irani, who had defeated Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the last Lok Sabha polls, asserted that governments across states, including those ruled by the Congress, are "witness to and have benefitted" from the Rs 1.76 lakh crore "PM Garib Kalyan Yojna".
The scheme has supported some of the weakest segments of our society, she added.
"In this hour of crisis, the Centre and states, including district authorities, have converged their efforts. And for the Congress at this time to indulge in political slander is unfortunate but expected," Ms Irani said.
This "lowly politics" by the Congress is "condemnable", she said, adding that the party cannot be expected to contribute constructively to the nation''s development.
The Congress president in a video message, posted as part of her party's "Speak Up India" campaign launched on Thursday, also demanded that the government should provide Rs 7,500 to each needy family for the next six months.