Putting a new spin on Rahul Gandhi's "why are all Modis thieves" remark, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday said the Congress president, by making the jibe, had maligned the backward community he hails from.
Addressing a poll rally, PM Modi also slammed the "dynastic politics" of Sharad Pawar and claimed the NCP chief had "fled" the poll arena from Madha Lok Sabha constituency as he sensed defeat.
"The Congress and its allies say that all PM Modi's in the society are thieves. The Congress and its allies have not kept any shortcomings in abusing of my backward caste. This time they have crossed the limits and abused the entire backward society," Modi said.
"I have a question. Why all the thieves have PM Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? We don't know how many more such Modi's will come out," Mr Gandhi had said recently.
Slamming Mr Gandhi, PM Modi said, "The ''naamdar'' (dynast) first tried ''chowkidar chor hai'' (slogan). Now they are trying to defame a backward community (Modi community). Being from a backward community, I am used to the suffering."
"The Congress has been defaming me for several years over my backward community background," PM Modi said. "I am used to such bashing. Now, they are blaming the entire community while defaming me. If you dare to defame a community, I will not tolerate it," he said.
"Why label entire backward community thieves by calling me one," he added.