Panaji: Congress leader Praniti Shinde on Monday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saying during his recent three-nation tour that Indians earlier used to be ashamed of having been born in India.

“He should be ashamed to say this. I want to ask him if the same people from this country, who live in filth, made a ‘chaiwala’ a prime minister,” Shinde, a spokesperson for the All India Congress Committee (AICC), said at a press conference here at the party’s state headquarters.

“I want to ask him, if UPA had not ruled this country democratically in the past 10-15 years, would the power have been given to a ‘chaiwala’ to become prime minister of this country,” Shinde said.

In the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress leaders had referred to Modi, who led the BJP poll campaign in the elections, as a “chaiwala” (tea seller). 

He was referred to as “chaiwala” after then Gujarat chief minister Modi, in a reference about his humble upbringing, had revealed in public speeches that he had sold tea at a railway station as a young boy.