Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday described Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi an "alien" who is "oblivious about the ground level situation in villages".
Slamming Gandhi for saying that "poverty is state of mind", Badal said: "It is surprising that leaders who have not fought even panchayat elections are ruling the country. Without any knowledge of ground level situation, they are framing policies from air-conditioned rooms in Delhi."
Badal was addressing a gathering at Fatehgarh Sahib, 60 km from here, after administering oath to newly elected village representatives.
Taking a dig at the Congress leadership, Badal said: "Indira Gandhi gave the slogan of 'Garibi Hatao' (Remove Poverty), and now her grandson (Rahul Gandhi) is bent on removing the poor from the country."
He said the Akali Dal government introduced several welfare schemes for the poor but the Congress leadership tried to scuttle these.
Badal said it was laughable that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who decried Punjab's 'Atta-Dal' scheme a wasteful expenditure, was copying the scheme in the food security ordinance.