The back and forth of jibes between BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi and finance minister P Chidambaram just doesn't seem to stop.
The verbal spat, which began when Modi mocked the Harvard University-educated Chidambaram by saying the nation could be led by hard work and not by degrees from noted institutions, was renewed on Monday when the finance minister said his mother and the university taught him the values of hard work.
While Chidambaram hit back at Modi's taunt during his interim budget speech on Monday, the Gujarat chief minister did not take long to give a rejoinder. "I welcome the decision on 'one rank, one pension' for our servicemen. Belated wisdom finally dawns on our 'hard working' UPA ministers (sic)," he tweeted.
"It is up to the people to decide whether the Economist PM & FM have been 'hard working' or 'hardly working' in their tenure."
In his speech, Chidambaram announced the long-pending demand for one rank, one pension had been accepted, even as he hiked the defence spend for 2014-15 to Rs 224,000 crore.
Modi, who has more than three million followers on Twitter, went on to post on the microblogging website: "Hard working finance minister also joins other illustrious UPA ministers who are seeking refuge in history to judge their 'performance'.
"The only solace one gets from the vote-on-account is that this was UPA's final act of misery after a decade of decay & policy paralysis."
During his speech, the finance minister rubbished arguments of "policy paralysis" and said the economy was more stable than it was two years ago after steps taken by the government and that the growth would be higher in the second half of the fiscal.
Taunting the finance minister repeatedly at a rally in Chennai last week, Modi had said that India under Chidambaram and noted economist Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had registered high unemployment, fiscal debt and low growth.
"Going to Harvard means nothing. What matters is hard work....A man who has just studied in an ordinary school, sold tea and has not even seen the doors of Harvard has shown what it takes to handle economy," Modi said at the rally.