Calling Rahul Gandhi a "bechara" (helpless), Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday said the Congress president was not aware of facts and only reads the scripts given to him.
Mr Adityanath's reaction comes after the Gandhi scion threw the "thief" barb at Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of former French president Francois Hollande's sensational claim on the Rafale deal.
"Rahul Gandhi is a bechara (helpless) as he is not aware of facts and only reads the given script," Mr Adityanath told reporters at the Gorakhnath temple.
The UP chief minister said after more than 70 years of Independence and successive governments headed by the Congress party and the family of Rahul Gandhi, the poor were still neglected.
"The benefits of government schemes have not reached the beneficiaries. If poor people were aware of the schemes, they wouldn't have been deprived," he said.
"Congress and Rahul Gandhi should apologise (to the people of India). Everyone knows who the thief is," he added.
He further accused the Congress of playing with the "security of the nation".
"They (apparently referring to the Congress) divided the country on the lines of caste and geographical area and also surrendered before terrorism, separatism and communalism," he said.
Showering praises on PM Modi, the UP chief minister said, the country was "moving on the path of development" under the prime minister's leadership.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi has provided houses, toilets and gas connections to the people... These families were deprived and for this Rahul Gandhi's Congress and his family are responsible," he added.
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