Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the Congress "dreams of killing me" but the entire nation stood behind him, as he campaigned in Madhya Pradesh for the national election. He also attacked the party over its leader Digvijaya Singh being seen in a video sharing stage with controversial preacher Zakir Naik and said: "Doob maro Congress-walon (go drown)."
The Congress, he said at a rally in Itarsi, "has so much hatred for your Modi that they are even dreaming of killing Modi. But they are forgetting that people from Madhya Pradesh and India are batting for me."
PM Modi also referred to controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to target Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who is contesting from Bhopal. "Diggi raja lifted Zakir Naik on his shoulders and danced. The Congress government called Naik to address police officers on terrorism. Sri Lanka has shut down his TV channel after the blasts (on Easter Sunday). Earlier governments tried to project Naik as an ambassador of peace," he said.
Zakir Naik, said to be currently in Malaysia, is wanted in India on charges of inciting youths to take up terror and for hate speeches.
PM Modi said voters had to choose between the 55-year-rule of one family and the 55-month rule of a "chaiwala (tea seller)".
On a day of rallies that also took him to Ayodhya district in Uttar Pradesh, the Prime Minister repeatedly targeted the Congress and other opposition parties like the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, accusing them of going soft on terror and giving terrorists a long rope just for votes.
"Your one vote can end terror," he said at one rally.
In another at Ayodhya, he pitched the ruling BJP as the only party that can eliminate terrorists "inside their homes", an apparent reference to the Indian Air Force strike in Pakistan's Balakot in February to target a terror training camp days after 40 soldiers were killed in a terror attack in Pulwama. "Whether the danger is within the borders or beyond, naya Hindustan ghar mein ghus kar marega (new India will eliminate them in their homes). We will reply to bullets with bullets," he said.
"When India is safe and protected, only then will our dreams come true...When you press the Kamal (lotus -- BJP symbol) button, it will awaken the soul of the soldier in you who will live and die for the country," PM Modi said to his audience.
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