- PM Modi said Sharad Pawar aspired for the PM's post but got cold feet
- PM Modi said Mr Pawar "knows which way the wind is blowing"
- PM Modi said the Congress-NCP alliance was like "Kumbhakarna"
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hit out at the Congress for calling him "Shauchalaya ka Chowkidar", saying "I wear their abuse as a badge of honour". PM Modi, addressing a rally in Maharashtra's Wardha, also said that the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance in the state was like "Kumbhakarna"; they took turns to sleep for six months.
"They said I do chowkidari of shauchalaya (toilets). They think they are insulting me but their gaali (abuse) is my gehna (ornament). For me, shauchalaya represents the honour of our mothers and sisters who do not have to face problems because of open defecation," PM Modi said.
Wardha is among the seats in the Vidarbha region where the Congress and NCP hope to gain some ground in this election. The region will vote in the first round of the national election on April 11.
Vidarbha is the epicenter of farmer distress. The PM's rally today is strategic, according to the BJP; not only is Wardha an important landmark in the life of Mahatma Gandhi, it is also a town with a large number of farmers.
Targeting NCP chief Sharad Pawar, PM Modi said he aspired for the PM's post but got cold feet and decided to take the Rajya Sabha route to parliament instead of contesting the polls as he "knows which way the wind is blowing".
The NCP, he said, "was having trouble with their seat-share arrangement" and there was a dynastic war in which Sharad Pawar was sidelined by his nephew.
PM Modi accused Sharad Pawar of forgetting the farmers though he was an agriculture minister.
"Today Pawar sahab has been bowled by people. His false promises have been exposed and he has been hit-wicket by his nephew," he said.
The Prime Minister also targeted the Congress, accusing it of causing the farmers' crisis in the state with its "misrule". "We are working tirelessly to serve the farmers. The Congress-NCP alliance looted farmers and were involved in the irrigation scam," he said.