Fiercely attacked by Rahul Gandhi with allegations of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday hit back at the Congress on the campaign trail for "calling all Modis thieves". Such a language does not suit the Congress chief but using derogatory words have become synonymous with the "naamdar" (dynast), PM Modi said, addressing a poll rally in Chhattisgarh.
"I have a question. Why do all the thieves have Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? We don't know how many more such Modis will come out," Mr Gandhi had said, attacking the PM.
"Should such language be used? We have to throw out such people. Abusive language has become the norm. The Sahu community here would have been called Modi in Gujarat. Are they all thieves?" PM Modi said, targeting Mr Gandhi.
PM Modi also accused the Congress of being "hand in glove with not only Naxals but also with those who want to break India". He also referenced the recent Maoist attack in which five people, including a BJP legislator, was killed.
The Congress poll manifesto will give an open license to those who misguide peaceful tribals in forests, PM Modi said referring to Maoists.
The Congress' panja (claw) wants our armed forces to be stripped of their special powers and weaken them, Modi said. The open palm is the election symbol of the Congress.
"Will you allow the Congress to compromise on national security," PM Modi said.
The Congress party's poll promise to strip the army of special power has led to celebration among those forces who are engaged in spreading violence, PM Modi said.
"Does the Congress 'hand' favour development or destruction," he said.
The PM exuded confidence that there will be "Modi Sarkar" once again after Lok Sabha poll results on May 23.
(With inputs from PTI)