Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for “shifting the blame” for price rise on the States.

“The Prime Minister’s address at a meeting of the Chief Secretaries of States earlier in the day was very disappointing and unfortunate,” he told the Gujarat BJP executive here. Containing inflation was part of the UPA government’s “100-day agenda” but it miserably failed to achieve the goal and remained a silent spectator to the continuous spiral of prices of essential commodities, breaking the back of the poor, he said.

“It is now trying to shift the blame on the States to mislead the people. The Centre is not doing what it should do and does not even appreciate what we are doing in the States for the development of the country.”

Responding to the Congress criticism, calling him “uncivilised” for stating that he proposed to write in Italian to the Centre seeking steps to contain price rise, Mr. Modi asked: “Is Italian, German or French language uncivilised or talking about price rise shows incivility?”

At the meeting, R.C. Faldu, chief whip of the BJP Legislature Party, was elected unopposed State unit president. National general secretary Gopinath Munde, who was the central observer, announced the election of Mr. Faldu to succeed Purshottam Rupala.

A low-profile party worker and three-time MLA from Kalavad in Jamnagar district in the Saurashtra region, Mr. Faldu’s was the only nomination filed for the post on Sunday.

An RSS cardholder, Mr. Faldu belongs to the powerful Leuva Patel community as against Mr. Rupala, who represents Kadva Patels. Mr. Faldu’s choice was considered crucial to woo the Patels, particularly Leuvas, who have been feeling alienated since the dismissal of the Keshubhai Patel Ministry.

Party sources said his election as president would come in handy for the BJP, which is facing crucial local bodies elections later this year. Six of the seven municipal corporations, a number of municipalities and 20 of the 26 district panchayats are going to the polls.