Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday asked his successor Narendra Modi to set an example with his conduct and refrain from using language that is unbecoming of his office, PTI reported.

“My advice to the prime minister is that he should exercise due restraint becoming of the office of the prime minister,” Singh said at an event in New Delhi. “The prime minister, when he goes to states which are ruled by parties other than to which he belongs, I think, has an obligation not to use language of the kind which has now become a common practice.”

The Congress has questioned Modi’s conduct during his aggressive campaigning for the ongoing Assembly elections in which he has attacked the state leaderships of rival parties. At an election rally in Congress-ruled Mizoram last week, Modi accused the party of ignoring the development of the state and said that the rest of the North East, run by the Bharatiya Janata Party, had progressed.

Singh claimed that when he was the prime minister, he had maintained “very good” relations with the chief ministers of BJP-ruled states. He added that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan would attest to his claim that BJP-ruled states were not discriminated against when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance was in power at the Centre.

“So what I would say is that the prime minister of the country must set an example... he is the prime minister for all citizens of our country and his conduct must be worthy and consistent with that obligation that he/she has as prime minister,” Singh said.

On Sunday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh had claimed that the BJP was carrying out a “frightening level of communal polarisation” in the poll-bound states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and that Modi was not being “prime ministerial” while campaigning.

Modi, however, has accused the Congress and its president, Rahul Gandhi, of attacking his parents and dragging them into the election campaign because the party did not have the courage to confront him directly. Modi was referring to Congress leader Vilasrao Muttemwar’s remark that no one knows the prime minister’s parents while everyone knows Gandhi’s family. Another Congress leader, Raj Babbar, had compared the decline in the value of the rupee to the age of Modi’s mother.