New Delhi, Jan 12 (Agencies): An NCP leader on Wednesday lashed out at Rahul Gandhi for his reported comments blaming coalition politics for the price rise forcing the Congress and his own party to initiate an urgent damage-control exercise.

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

In remarks that caused discomfort in Congress, Tripathi said single-party rule in India was not not possible in the foreseeble future and that coalition was being practised in 65 countries, "including Italy".

Soon Congress reacted blaming media's "erroneous and misreporting" of Gandhi's interaction with students of some colleges in Lucknow on Tuesday.

"This is completely wrong and erroneous reporting. Rahul Gandhi has not said anything of the sort and made no such allegation as being ascribed to him in the reports.

"At no point of time during the closed-door discussion (with students), he referred to any coalition partner  NCP or Sharad Pawar. He has been misquoted and misreported," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters at AICC briefing.

He also refused to fault the NCP reaction saying this will happen if a wrong report is published.

Stepping in to temper Tripathi's remarks, NCP Vice President Praful Patel said "I don't think Rahul Gandhi's statement should be read in the context of the current coalition.

Rahul has not criticised any party in particular.  I think the remarks of Tripathi have been blown out of context."

In an apparent reference to Tripathi listing Italy as one of the countries that has a coalition government, Patel said "it was unwarranted".

On Tuesday, Rahul had at the interaction was reportedly asked how the late Indira Gandhi was able to control both the problems of price rise and corruption and he had apparently said that Indira Gandhi was able to do it because she had led a single party government and now now the UPA faced coalition compulsions.