Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Tuesday lashed out at the Congress over the jibe "Bhooke-Nange Ghar Ka (from a poverty stricken household)", and said it exposes the opposition party's "culture" and its attitude to the poor.
At an election rally on Sunday, Congress farmers' cell leader Dinesh Gurjar had called Mr Chouhan "Bhooke-Nange Ghar Ka" while comparing him to "big industrialist" Kamal Nath.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Chouhan said the Congress once questioned the credentials of a "chaiwala" or tea-seller (referring to a term used by a Congress leader to mock Narendra Modi), but it led to a discussion on the issue in the entire country, and now they were calling Mr Chouhan "Bhooke-Nange Ghar Ka".
"Look I am not hurt by it, but it has hurt the poor and when the poor get hurt, then automatically I get hurt...They have started it, we will end it," the chief minister added.
Earlier, addressing party workers here ahead of November 3 Assembly by-elections, Mr Chouhan said Mr Gurjar's remark "reflects their attitude, their culture and expression of their inner thoughts about the poor".
"They are also mocking me for launching development works by saying that Shivraj always carries a coconut in his pocket and whenever he gets the opportunity, he takes it out and breaks it to launch some work.
"They don't have a problem with coconut, they have a problem with development. We have ensured development even during the coronavirus period and never cried about shortage of funds," he said.
"When we work for the development of the state, they say he always carries a coconut with him. What else should I carry? Coconut is a part of our culture," Mr Chouhan added.
Mr Chouhan alongwith state BJP president Vinshu Dutt Sharma also flagged-off high-tech "raths" (chariots or vans) for the campaign.
Asked by reporters about senior BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia's photo missing from the posters on the chariots, Mr Chouhan said Scindia is a "respectable leader of the party".
"He is an inseparable member of the BJP team and we are formulating strategies and working together," the chief minister said.
On the Congress questioning Mr Scindia's properties, Mr Chouhan said, "When Madhavrao Scindia (Jyotiraditya's father) was in Congress they took advantage of his popularity. Then they did not point fingers.
"He (Mr Jyotiraditya) was a good person as long as he was with you. But when he ensured the fall of your government because of your bad deeds, then he became the worst person for you all," Mr Chouhan said.
Jyotiraditya Scindia's exit from the Congress alongwith several MLAs led to the fall of the Congress government in the state in March.