Mumbai, Sep 12 (PTI) Maharashtra minister Balasaheb Thorat on Sunday said that those political leaders who believe in constitutional and democratic values, should unite under the Congress umbrella, instead of passing critical remarks against it.

He also said that he did not agree with NCP president Sharad Pawar's comments against the Congress, likening the grand-old-party to a 'zamindar' (landlord) who has lost his land. Thorat said the Congress has never done "zamindari".

"The Congress is not just a political party, but a symbol of constitutional and democratic values of the nation," he said referring to Pawar's remarks.

Talking to reporters here, Thorat said instead of passing critical comments against the Congress, leaders with progressive ideology should come under the party umbrella to save the country.

"Under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, Congress will once again rise like a phoenix and no one should have a doubt about this," he said.

"Congress is an idea of the nation and voice of the poor, deprived and suppressed people. The party has contributed to the nation's development and helped it emerge as a world power," he said.

Thorat accused the BJP of using money power to defame the Congress and topple its governments and win elections by creating hatred in the society.

Thorat also claimed that if individuals, organisations who believe in democratic and constitutional values want to save the country from divisiveness, inflation, unemployment and sale of national assets, then they should join hands with the Congress since it is the only alternative.

"Instead of criticising the Congress, all should come under the Congress flag," he said.

Congress shares power with NCP in the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.