NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over his recent criticism of late PM Rajiv Gandhi, including his “corrupt number 1” barb directed at the latter. Pawar said it did not behove the prime minister to make such a remark about the person who was not alive. Also Read - Former BCCI President Reveals Why Rahul Dravid Decided to Step Down From Captaincy

Modi at a rally in Uttar Pradesh last Saturday targeted Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, saying, “Your father (Rajiv Gandhi) was termed Mr Clean by his courtiers, but his life ended as ‘bhrashtachari’ no 1 (corrupt number 1).” Also Read - 100 Days Or 100 Months: Congress Will Continue To Fight Till Farm Laws Are Rolled Back, Says Priyanka Gandhi

Besides, in a sensational charge, Modi on Wednesday accused the Gandhi family of using warship INS Viraat as its “personal taxi” when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister. Also Read - At Janaushadhi Centres, Women Can Buy Sanitary Pads at Rs 2.5 | All You Need to Know

Reacting to the allegations, Pawar told reporters in Satara, “That person (Rajiv Gandhi) is not alive. His death was painful, for anyone.”

He said two individuals — Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi — from the Gandhi family became prime minister and were killed.

“And after such big sacrifice, it does not behove (the prime minister) to use such a language about the person,” the former Union minister said.

Referring to Modi’s “corrupt number 1” remark against Rajiv Gandhi, Pawar said the prime minister called for contesting the remaining two rounds of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls over the issue.

“What is he talking? What level he is stooping to?” the NCP chief asked.

Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 by her bodyguards after the Operation Blue Star.

Her son Rajiv Gandhi was killed in 1991 by a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).