Hitting back at Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Congress leader Kamal Nath for his swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP on Thursday said its politics was based on hard work and talent while the opposition party survived on “dynasty”. Union minister and senior leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Prakash Javadekar hit out at Nath over his reported remarks that PM Modi’s father and grandfather did not fight for the country’s freedom.

“Kamal Nath has made a crass remark by asking whether Narendra Modi’s father and grandfather fought in the freedom struggle. It is reflective of Congress’s petty mindset. It is still unable to digest Modi, who came from a poor family and whose father sold tea, becoming the prime minister,” Javadekar told reporters.

The politics of the Congress was confined to the Nehru-Gandhi family and had omitted the likes of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Javadekar alleged, adding that PM Modi had emerged as the country’s prime minister by breaking this “politics of dynasty”.

The Union minister also hit back at the Congress for taking a dig at Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman over her absence from a pre-budget meeting chaired by the prime minister, accusing the opposition party of making the “worst kind of sexist remarks”.

Earlier in the day, the Congress had tweeted: “How many men does it take to do a woman”s job”, taking a potshot at the finance minister.

Asserting that the comment was absolutely unnecessary in a civilised society, Javadekar sought an apology from the opposition party. Pointing out that the Congress was headed by a woman (Sonia Gandhi), he wondered whether she agreed with her party’s view on Sitharaman.

For a party headed by a woman, the Congress had fallen to a “new low”, Javadekar said. The Modi government was engaging in the “widest consultation” before presenting its budget, he said, adding that Sitharaman was running the finance ministry “competently” and Congress should apologise for its remarks on her.

PM Modi met economists, private equity and venture capitalists, business leaders and agri experts at Niti Aayog on Thursday and called for focussed efforts from all the stakeholders to achieve the target of nearly doubling the size of the Indian economy to USD 5 trillion by 2024.

However, the meeting attracted attention for the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah and the absence of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The economic slowdown, falling GDP rate, and rising unemployment have left many question the government’s policies.