New Delhi, Jan 12 (Agencies): NCP, a major constituent of the UPA, on Wednesday hit out at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for blaming coalition compulsion for price rise, saying his statements should reflect "humility" and not "arrogance".

A day after Gandhi made the comments which seemed to target Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, NCP General Secretary and spokesman D P Tripathi said the Congress leader's statement was not based on facts.

"Congress party is the principal party in the UPA and any statement of the leader of that party should reflect humility and not arrogance," Tripathi told a press conference here.

Describing Gandhi's statement as "unfortunate", the NCP leader said no single minister, including Pawar, could be held responsible for the price rise as "it is the collective responsibility" of the Government.

"I have always admired Rahul Gandhi and wished him success in politics. But I felt sad that the important political leader of the UPA and the Congress party has made a statement which is not based on facts," Tripathi said.

He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has complimented Pawar for handling food and agriculture.

Sending out a message to Congress, the NCP spokesman made it clear that it would have to live with coalition politics a the single party rule is not possible in the "distant" and "foreseeable" future.

"These are days of pluralism... Coalition rule has arrived," Tripathi said.

Noting that the essence of people's verdict in 2004 and 2009 General Elections was following of "coalition course and not collision course", he said any attack on the coalition politics would amount to attacking the verdict of India.

He recalled that the biggest mass movement against price rise had taken place in 1974-75 when Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister.

NCP Vice President and Union Minister Praful Patel sought to undertake a damage-control exercise, saying Gandhi had not criticised anybody in particular.

"I don't think Rahul Gandhi's statement should be read in the context of current coalition as he was replying to a general question asked to him by students. He has not criticised any party in particular," Patel said.