New Delhi: Congress on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has proved himself a "very good event manager" but got "carried away" on his visit to the USA even as it charged that he was "diluting" the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.
The party, however, at the same time praised Modi for his speech at United Nations in which he had given a strong response to Pakistan's criticism of India on the Jammu and Kashmir issue.
"When the Prime Minister of India speaks on Mahatma Gandhi on foreign soil, he must not dilute and shrink what all Gandhi stood for. It is sad that it is happening. He should remember Gandhi had also stood for simplicity. Gandhi also believed in non-violence.
"One does not emulate Gandhi by seeking to become a fashion icon and a rockstar changing eight designer suits as Gandhi always put on half a dhoti," senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said.
Accusing BJP of "always criticising and castigating" Manmohan Singh when he was the prime minister in the previous UPA government, Sharma claimed that Congress had been holding back "until Prime Minister (Modi) made insulting references to the previous government and his predecessors by ridiculing their work".
"It is always expected that a Prime Minister representing 1.2 billion people will get a good reception and audience among the 3.5 million-strong Indian diaspora living in America and Canada. He appeared to have been carried away.
"People of India elected a prime minister to represent India. But he has lived up to the words of his own mentor, LK Advani, of being a very good event promoter, event manager," Sharma said.
The former commerce minister said it would have been good had Modi been "gracious enough to acknowledge the role of many of his predecessors instead of ridiculing and insulting them" when he referred to India's notable achievements in the last 60 years.
At an official party briefing, Congress spokesman Raj Babbar said that when Modi talked of India's transition from being a "country of snakes" to that of mouse-wielding youngsters, he had praised the contributions of former prime minister the late Rajiv Gandhi in ushering in an IT revolution in the country.