BASTI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched a blistering attack on Congress President Rahul Gandhi at BJP rallies in Pratapgarh and Basti.
Accusing the Congress and its president Rahul Gandhi of harping on the acquisition of Rafale aircraft only to tarnish his image, Modi took a swipe at former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
"Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'Bhrashtachari No 1' (corrupt number 1)," Modi said.
He claimed that the Congress chief had admitted in an interview that his only aim is to tarnish Modi's image.
"By hurling abuses, you cannot turn the 50 long years of Modi's tapasya (struggle) into dust," the prime minister said. By tarnishing my image and by making me look small, these people want to form an unstable and a weak government in the country," he said.
"The naamdaar must clearly listen that this Modi was not born with a golden spoon, nor was he born in any royal family," he said, referring to Gandhi.
Modi claimed that Congress is known for dividing the country, and charged it with bringing down coalition governments in the past.
PM Modi also accused the Samajwadi Party of going soft on the Congress, saying the two parties are playing a 'big game' against Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati.
He said while Mayawati is openly targeting the Congress and its policies, a Congress leader is sharing the stage with the SP. The apparent reference was to Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's presence at an SP meeting in Rae Bareli on Thursday.
"The SP is going soft on the Congress, but its alliance partner BSP chief Mayawati is attacking the Congress," Modi said in Pratapgarh. He claimed the SP had derived advantage out of the alliance, talking about 'respect' towards her.
"It was said you (Mayawati) will be made the prime minister, but now `Behenji' has understood that the SP and the Congress are playing a big game with her," he said. Modi said the Congress has been reduced to the status of a 'vote katwa' party, suggesting its only relevance now is to queer the pitch for other parties.
Referring to the UN listing of Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist, he said it was a "major victory in India's fight against terror".
He attacked the Congress over its own record in tackling terrorism.
"These people had created the hype of Hindu terrorism. Today, the terrorists and their masters are praying that Modi should not come to power, but the country is saying 'Phir ek baar, Modi sarkaar'," he said.
In Basti, he accused the opposition of playing vote bank politics.
"The SP, BSP and Congress are the biggest example of how principles are trampled upon for power. They are so affected by the bad habit of getting their vote bank arithmetic right that they consider people just numbers," Modi said.
The PM said the NDA work culture is different from that of the 'mahamilawati' (adulterated) alliance.
"We want to decentralise the government. But the 'mahamilawatis' are eager to come to Delhi in their lust for power," he said.
(With PTI inputs)