The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday accused Rahul Gandhi of practising the “lowest form of politics” after the Congress president said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi does not respect his mentor and former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani.

Gandhi, addressing a rally of party workers in Mumbai, said the Congress party had given “more respect to LK Advani than Modi has”, reported NDTV..

“LK Advani has been the guru of Modi, but I have seen in events that Modi does not even respect his guru,” The Times of India quoted him as saying. “Today, I feel very sad for Advani.”

Gandhi tweeted later that the BJP “cut down their own gurus”. “Humiliating [former Prime Minister Atal Bihari] Vajpayee, Advani, [former minister] Jaswant Singh and their families is the prime minister’s way of protecting Indian culture.”

Gandhi said he visited Vajpayee at Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences, because it is the Congress party’s ideology to respect opponents. “The Congress party fought against Vajpayee’s government, but when he was sick it was we who visited him first.”

The 93-year-old BJP leader was admitted to the hospital on Monday with a urinary tract infection, a lower respiratory tract infection and kidney-related ailments. His condition is said to be stable now.

The BJP hit back at Gandhi. “[Rahul Gandhi] is violating our social and political norms,” said BJP spokesperson Anil Baluni. “He does not even seem to know the kind of politics he is doing. It was bizarre to see the president of the country’s oldest party stoop to such a low.”

Baluni also spoke about the Congress party’s “ill-treatment of senior leaders like Pranab Mukherjee” in a reference to the criticism faced by Mukherjee for attending an event organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.