Prime Minister Narendra Modi, campaigning in Gujarat today, fired back at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge's "Ravan" comment targeting him. It was not ok to call someone "Ravan" in the land of "Rambhakts (Ram devotees)", he commented, addressing a large gathering.
"There is a competition in the Congress on who will insult Modi more, use bigger, sharper insults," PM Modi said while campaigning in Gujarat's Kalol.
"A few days back, a Congress leader said Modi will die a dog's death, another said Modi will die Hitler's death. Another said if I get a chance, I'll kill Modi myself...Someone says Ravan, someone says rakshash (demon), someone says cockroach... I'm not surprised that Congress calls Modi names, I'm surprised - anyone would be - that despite using such words, the Congress never has remorse. Congress thinks it is their right to insult Modi, the Prime Minister of this country."
Mr Kharge had made the comments while addressing a rally in Ahmedabad earlier this week. "Modi ji is Prime Minister. Forgetting his work, he keeps campaigning in corporation elections, MLA elections, MP elections, everywhere... All the time he's talking about himself - 'You don't have to look at anyone else, just look at Modi and vote'. How many times do we see your face? How many forms do you have? Do you have 100 heads like Ravan?" Mr Kharge had said.
Days before him, another Congress leader, Madhusudan Mistry, had said "We want to show Modiji his aukat (status)" while talking about renaming a stadium named after Narendra Modi.
PM Modi tackled both comments today.
"The strength that Gujarat has given me troubles Congress. A Congress leader came here and said we'll show Modi his aukat in this election. The Congress felt still more needs to be said, so they sent Kharge here. I respect Kharge but he must have had to say what had been asked. Congress doesn't know that Gujarat is a state of Ram bhakhts. Here he said Modi is Ravan with 100 heads," the Prime Minister said.
Gujarat voted in the first round of a two-phase election today. The second phase is on Monday.