The BJP has also demanded an apology from Rahul Gandhi.
The BJP has slammed Rahul Gandhi and brought up the "maut ka saudagar" remark made by his mother after the Congress leader appeared to blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India's loss in the cricket World Cup final and said PM stands for 'Panauti Modi'.
Addressing a rally in election-bound Rajasthan on Tuesday, Rahul Gandhi accused PM Modi of trying to distract from the issues. "He comes on TV and says 'Hindu-Muslim' and sometimes goes to a cricket match... Our boys would have won the World Cup but the panauti (bad omen) lost us the match," he said in Hindi.
In a tongue-lashing, senior BJP leader and former Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the former Congress president's remarks about the Prime Minister were "shameful, condemnable and disgraceful". Union Minister Rajeev Chandrashekar also hit out at Mr Gandhi and said the comments were signs of desperation and mental instability.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Chandrashekar said Rahul Gandhi was a 55-year-old who had never worked a day in his life, whose family had "exploited the country like parasites" and whose government had "destroyed the country economically".
"The reason is that PM @narendramodiji is a nightmare for the Crooks of Congress, for enemies of India and Terrorists. For all others, he is the world's most popular political leader, whose experience, hard work and vision have transformed lives of people, grown our economy and earned respect all over India and the world - from Silicon Valley to our vilages - from tech to farmers," the post said.
Mr Prasad said Mr Gandhi had shown his true colours and reminded him how the Congress had fared in Gujarat after his mother, Sonia Gandhi, called Narendra Modi, the then chief minister of the state, "maut ka saudagar" (merchant of death), ahead of the 2007 assembly polls. The BJP had won 117 of the state's 182 seats, and the Congress had been reduced to just 59.
"I vehemently condemn Rahul Gandhi's comment about the Prime Minister," Mr Prasad was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. He also claimed that Mr Gandhi had made the remarks out of frustration because Congress was losing the Assembly polls in Rajasthan and other states.
"Rahul Gandhi must apologise...else we will make this issue very serious," the BJP leader said, adding that the Congress leader has shown "his true colours as to what is your status and understanding", the PTI report said.
"Panauti" has been trending on social media since India's defeat in the match against Australia on Sunday, which was attended by PM Modi at the stadium named after him in Ahmedabad. The PM had also consoled the players after the loss and reminded them that they had won 10 matches in a row.