Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for his "balloon jibe", Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Congress vice president should focus on the nation rather than criticising Gujarat which was declared "number one" by his mother Sonia Gandhi.
"If you think Gujarat model is a balloon, I want to ask if you trust your mother? The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation whose chairperson is your mother, that foundation had declared Gujarat number one. Do you see a balloon in your mother's talk? Does your mother also release balloons?," Modi said addressing a rally in Bijapur in Karnataka.
He said the people of Gujarat had rejected the Congress leaders' "balloon of lies" in the last three assembly elections in the state.
Tearing into the much touted Gujarat development model, Rahul Gandhi had recently called it a "new heavier balloon" filled with "gas" and said it will also burst like the BJP's 'India Shining' campaign in 2004 and 2009.
"They (BJP) had made a balloon of 'India Shining' in 2004 and 2009. The people of India deflated it twice. This time they have blown a new, heavier balloon, the Gujarat model balloon filled with gas which will burst again," Gandhi had said, taking on the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate.
Attacking Rahul for criticising Gujarat model, Modi today said that this Lok Sabha election was taking place to elect the Prime Minister and the government at the centre and not to form the government in Gujarat.
"Shehzade these days talks about Gujarat... Is this election to elect the Gujarat government? Will its CM be elected? The election is to elect the Prime Minister...to form government in Delhi. Therefore, shouldn't the discussion be of the country's government?," Modi said adding that Congress should explain what it did in their ten years of rule.
Retorting to the balloon jibe, Modi said, "You, your party and 18 chief ministers came to Gujarat in 2002. And had spoken lies of such balloon. And your balloon of lies was not accepted by the people of Gujarat."
"You had done the same thing in 2007 and in December 2012. But you could not make the people of Gujarat believe your lies. People were seeing development and that is why people have elected BJP," he said.
Without naming Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Modi said that it was she who had declared Gujarat number one.
The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate invoked Atal Bihari Vajpayee's regime and said that more youths were given employment during his six year tenure than what Congress has done in ten years of their rule.
Portraying a picture of doom for the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls, Modi said, "in no state will the Congress tally reach double digit... in some states they will not be able to even open account."
Modi said he does not think those who looted the nation can escape. "I am seeing the mood from Kashmir to Kanyakumari."
Calling Congress manifesto "Dhokha patra", Modi said that the party had become "so thick skinned that despite doing nothing in their ten year rule, they have again said that they will give employment to 10 crore youths".