Prime Minister Narendra Modi responded in the Lok Sabha on Thursday to the digs taken at his government over the past few days of Parliament's budget session, especially those flung by Rahul Gandhi.
"Kuch logon ki umar to badhti hai, lekin samajh nahi badhti (some people age, but do not mature)" he started, in an obvious reference. Quoting Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, he tutored the Opposition on the correct way to behave in parliament.
He also said, "Some MPs have an inferiority complex, and that is why the House is stalled. There are such bright MPs in the Opposition .. but they aren't being allowed to speak. Nobody in the Opposition must look stronger and this is because of an inferiority complex." Another hit at Rahul Gandhi, clearly.
Modi also recounted a curious anecdote about former Russian leaders Nikita Khrushchev and Stalin.
On Wednesday, Rahul Gandhi had said, "Modiji is a very powerful man. Everybody feels a bit scared of him, I do too. But we should ask him questions sometimes."
Responding directly to this, Modi said, "Any person can ask us questions, they have the right to." Then he added, "There are some who are not accountable... no one dares to ask them, no one dares to tell them anything. And I have seen what happens to those who try to."
He then narrated the anecdote, inviting listeners to interpret it as they saw fit.
"The Russian premier Nikita Khrushchev widely criticised Stalin after his death. During one such address, a young man stood from the audience and asked him, 'Why are you criticising Stalin? What did you do when he was alive and you worked with him?' He told the person, 'You have got the answer? What you are able to do now, I wanted to, but couldn't during Stalin's time."
BJP leaders burst into applause at the end. Modi then added, "It'll take time to understand this," to more laughter.