Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday scoffed at opposition efforts to forge a Mahagathbandhan for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, saying it was nothing but their compulsion and a vindication of the BJP-led government's success.
The Prime Minister said the proposed grand alliance of the opposition was leaderless, had no clear policy and its intentions were corrupt. The opposition parties had failed to deliver when they were in power and now in their present role, he claimed.
PM Modi also had a veiled dig at Congress President Rahul Gandhi, saying that various opposition parties were not prepared to give the Congress any leadership role, with some even regarding it a burden.
Addressing the concluding session of the BJP National Executive, PM Modi said that there was also a situation of non-acceptance of the leadership within the Congress which he said spoke "lies."
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad later briefed the media about PM Modi's remarks.
"Today, there is discussion about Mahagathbandhan. People who do not see eye to eye, who cannot walk together, who have no political or ideological understanding, who can't even tolerate each other are thinking of forging a Mahagathbandhan and embracing each other. It is the biggest vindication of our success," Mr Prasad quoted PM Modi as saying.
"Mahagathbandhan -- its leader is not known, the policy is unclear and intention is corrupt. These are so powerful words of the Prime Minister..." Mr Prasad said.
Referring to the Congress, PM Modi said that "nobody is prepared to accept its leadership. Even small parties are not willing to accept its leadership. Some treat it as a burden."
The Prime Minister said that there should be an effective opposition in a democracy for accountability.
"Our pain is that those who were failure in the government are also failures in the opposition. They have till date not raised relevant issues."
He said the BJP was willing to answer questions on its ideological commitment, its work but will also pose questions about "48 years of a family" and 48-month rule of the BJP-led government.
"Surely, we will ask what that family worked for, for what consideration, with what objective and purpose. Our difficulty is that they do not fight on issues, nor on our performance," Mr Prasad quoted PM Modi as saying at the party meet.
"They fight on lies. They speak a lie everyday. Manufacturing lies and then repeating these has become a habit."
"But as part of our strategy, we have to expose their lies. The lie, the misrepresentation of opposition in general and the Congress in particular must be defeated strongly with reference to the great work we have done," PM Modi said.