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 here, 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 Modis 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.
Addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra recently, Gandhi had said, “I have a question. Why all the thieves have Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? We don’t know how many more such Modis will come out.”
Slamming Gandhi, 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,” 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.
Attacking Pawar, Modi said the NCP chief wondered if he has a family or not. “Pawar has the right to speak against me or my family because he is elder to me.
“Pawar is steeped in dynastic politics and his model is a “special family” in Delhi,” Modi said, in a veiled reference to the Gandhis.
Modi also promised to set up a separate Jal Shakti ministry if voted to power again. A separate department will be made only for river connectivity and increasing irrigation, he said.
He appealed people to recall the “corruption days” in earlier government when a series of scams made people “ashamed” of the then rulers. In the last five years, there has been no “corruption blot” on his government, he added.
“Confidence in Congress and NCP is on decline as they are not talking about their idea of India. Their only agenda is to dethrone Modi. They do not have any idea of increasing the importance of country globally,” he said.
“Mumbai once had become swarg (heaven) of terrorists (referring to several terror attacks on Mumbai). Nothing used to happen in those days. Now, we kill them by striking in their dens,” Modi said.
In an apparent reference to some opposition leaders seeking proof of the air strike in Pakistan, Modi said, “Some people continue to raise doubts over the valour of our jawans.
“I am standing like a wall between such people and our valiant soldiers,” he said.
NCP MP and former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Vijaysinh Mohite Patil shares stage with Modi at the poll rally. Modi felicitated him for completing 50 years in active politics.
Mohite Patil’s son Ranjitsinh, a former NCP MP, joined the BJP in March.
Modi also said he has directed officials to provide immediate relief to people after unseasonal rain, dust storm and lightning hit several parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat overnight, leaving 35 people dead and many others injured.