In a veiled reference to the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday said those who have been in power for the last 60 years have followed the “divide and rule policy in the country and conspired to snatch the rights of Dalit and backward communities”.
Modi said the Justice Ranganath Commission was used as an instrument to “sow the seeds of poison”.
Addressing a meeting in Kochi, Modi sought to woo Dalits and members of the backward classes, saying there has been a "conspiracy" to snatch the rights given to the community by B R Ambedkar.
Modi also promised that after coming to power at the Centre, he would like to do something for his "family", pointing towards the crowd at a meeting of a Dalit forum.
"For the past 60 years, people have indulged in vote bank politics to divide and rule. This has led to our division and fragmentation. They are experts in zeher ki kheti (farming poison). The Ranganath Mishra Commission (on religious and linguistic minorities) was set up to sow the seeds of poison," he said.
On a visit to Karnataka last week, United Progressive Alliance Chairperson and Congress President Sonia Gandhi had launched an attack on the opposition BJP -- accusing it of indulging in zeher ki kheti (sowing seeds of poison) to attain power.
Modi had hit out later, saying it is the Congress, not the BJP, which is sowing seeds of poison.
In an apparent dig at the Nehru-Gandhi family, Modi said those who are running the country for 60 years think all "good deeds" have been done by one family.
"I have done nothing for the family where I was born since I became the chief minister," he said, adding that he would do a lot of things for his "extended family" if given a chance to rule at the Centre.
Invoking social reformers B R Ambedkar, Pandit Karupan and Jyotiba Phule among others, Modi said the history of the last century shows that most reformers were from backward communities or Dalits who spent their lives in the service of the downtrodden.
Terming himself as a "victim of untouchability", he said the city mayor did not attend the programme though his name was among those invited.
He said the BJP has sent two people -- one from the Dalit community and other, a fisherman -- to Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in the Rajya Sabha elections.
Modi claimed the government at the Centre has not taken the steps it should have for the benefits of Dalits.
"I think it is in my destiny to do that now," he said, adding that the government at the Centre will change in the next 100 days.