Storming the capital with a whirlwind campaign, Narendra Modi today attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, saying they have ruined the country with their "bookish knowledge".
Addressing a series of election rallies here ahead of the December four Delhi Assembly polls, Modi said he does not question the knowledge or qualifications of Singh and Chidambaram but with their "intelligence and bookish knowledge, the two leaders have destroyed the country".
"They (Singh and Chidambaram) say we don't want to learn economics from Modi, but you should have at least learnt from Narsimha Rao and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Then you would have understood how to run the country. Both were not considered as economists, but the two great leaders were aware of country's problems," Modi said.
Sparring between Modi and Chidambaram has been on for sometime.
Modi had alleged at a rally in Jodhpur yesterday that Chidambaram feels buying gold causes inflation. The Finance Minister responded by saying that BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate is giving his “first lesson in economy” and rejected his contention.
An undeterred Modi continued the onslaught against Chidambaram and Singh at his rallies in Delhi.
Taking a dig at the top leadership of the Congress, Modi said, "Our PM is a big economist. We never questioned that. Finance Minister is also very educated. We never challenged that."
"A top ranking Minister in the central government, who considers himself to be all-intelligent, thinks he has got all the brains in the world and that the others are brainless... The same Minister said prices are rising because poor, who were earlier only eating dry breads, are now eating two vegetables. Tell me, are prices rising due to this?" he asked.
Later, Modi took a jibe at Chidambaram on his Twitter handle, saying, "Economy is in trouble, youth want jobs. Devote more time to economics not petty politics. Chidambaramji, please focus on the job at hand!"
At his poll rallies in Shahdara, Sultanpuri and Chandni Chowk here, Modi said in its attempt to target him, it has become a habit for Congress to pose questions to Gujarat on every issue.
"Ye fashion ho gaya hai, Chunav Delhi aur Rajasthan mein hai, lekin jawab Gujarat ki sarkaar se maang rahe hain. (It's become fashionable, there are elections in Delhi and Rajasthan, but they want Modi to answer questions on Gujarat).
Obliquely referring to the snooping scandal involving illegal surveillance of a woman, Modi said Congress has earlier resorted to such "tricks" during the Gujarat elections to malign him but without any success.
"They tried every trick to discredit me. But Gujarati people have defeated those attempts. Despite allegations that Congress made through Facebook and Twitter, people of Gujarat gave a befitting reply," he said.
Raking up the Commonwealth Games scam, he said "CWG was an opportunity to enhance our brand. Forget stealing money, they lost an opportunity to project Delhi to the world." Congress has lost the people's faith, he added.
Referring to BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan, he said, "We promise good governance and we are presenting an honourable person as our CM candidate." Attacking Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit over price rise he said, "A Congress Minister says that the government's job is not to sell vegetables. But see what Dikshit is doing now. Isn't she selling onions? I am surprised that despite the code of conduct, why did the Election Commission help her."
He targeted her government for high electricity tariff and comparing the rates with Gujarat.
Attacking Congress on governance, Modi said after Independence Jawaharlal Nehru had promised that emphasis will be on "good governance", but no importance was given to it.
"After independence, had there been a focus on good governance, then the nations which got independence after us would not have been considered as developed nations. The Congress does not believe in good governance."
Taking a dig at the Congress-led government he said, "In coming years, it will come out with different Acts... There will be an Act for breathing, right to drinking water Act, Act to walk on foot paths."