BJP on Tuesday lashed out at home minister P Chidambaram for his remarks that the middle class is ready to pay for mineral water and ice-cream but can't bear an increase of Re 1 in price of wheat and rice, saying he has shown insensitivity towards them and ridiculed them.
"It seems that Mr Chidambaram has inappropriately made a scandalous remark against the middle class and is ridiculing them. BJP would treat this remark as a complete hate statement reflecting the inner contradictions of the government itself," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.
He claimed that while the government has failed to deliver and rein in prices, control inflation or find a way out of the economic mess, the home minister has chosen to "torment the hapless common man".
Rudy termed Chidambaram's statement as bizarre.
"This stinks of complete insensitivity and BJP completely deplores the words of Mr Chidambaram. But at the same time nothing better is expected from this government and its ministers," he said.
Another BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said Chidambaram does not understand the pain of the common man as he is confined to "air-conditioned rooms and flying in planes".
"Chidambaram and the Congress are far removed from the common man. His comments are a joke on the people in a country where 50-60 crore live below the poverty line," he said.
Condemning the statement, Hussain demanded that Chidambaram tender an apology.