Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday mocked the Congress for holding protests against price rise and unemployment in black clothes on August 5.

“On August 5, we saw how some people tried to spread black magic,” Modi said, without naming the party. “These people think that by wearing black clothes they can end their despondency. They do not know that by engaging in witchcraft, black magic and superstition, they cannot earn the trust of people again.”

The prime minister made the remarks during the inauguration ceremony of a 2G ethanol plant in Haryana’s Panipat through video conference.

On August 5, Congress leaders, led by party chief Sonia Gandhi and MP Rahul Gandhi, held protests against inflation, the lack of jobs and demanded that the Goods and Services Tax hike on essential items be withdrawn.

The party had said that its leaders wore black clothes to convey their anger against the price rise. A host of Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Mallikarjun Kharge, were also detained by the Delhi Police for about six hours that day.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had contended said that Congress leaders wore black clothes to oppose the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Two years ago on August 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for the temple.

On Wednesday, Modi said there are some people in our country who are trapped in negativity and immersed in despair.

“Even after repeatedly spreading lies against the government, the public is not ready to trust such people,” he said. “In such desperation, these people are also now seen turning towards black magic.”

In an apparent reference to Congress, the prime minister also said: “Black magic cannot end your bad days.”

In response, the Congress said the BJP was creating a pointless issue.

“They [BJP] could not do anything to bring black money, now they are making a pointless issue about black clothes,” Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh wrote in a tweet, along with a picture of the prime minister in black clothes. “The country wants the prime minister to talk about their problems, but ‘jumlajeevi’ keeps saying anything”