Invoking Sardar Patel, BJP's prime ministerial hopeful, Narendra Modi asked the people of Gujarat to pay homage to the legendary freedom fighter by voting him to power in Delhi, and said if he is sent to jail he will open a tea stall there.
Hitting back at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi for his comment that Modi would have been in jail if there was a Lokayukta in Gujarat, the BJP leader said the Congress deputy chief was spreading lies and was unaware of the fact that state has already appointed an anti-corruption ombudsman.
"They (Congress) have made all efforts to send me to jail but have failed. I am ready to run a tea stall inside jail if imprisoned," Modi said, adding that the Congress's one point agenda is to stop him from coming to power at the Centre.
The chief minister was speaking at a rally in Amreli in support of BJP Lok Sabha candidate Naran Kachhadia.
Modi, whose party is aiming to win all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat, told people of the state that sending him to "Delhi" will be a fitting tribute to Sardar Patel.
"You have the responsibility to make me prime minister...Gujaratis have the biggest responsibility... If I will be in Delhi, then your voice will be heard. We are repenting since the last 60 years... had Sardar Patel been the first prime minister, villagers and farmers would have been happier. Now is the time to pay homage to Sardar Patel and give a chance (to rule in Delhi) to this son of Sardar's motherland."
Speaking at another public meeting at Lunawada in Panchmahal district in support of BJP candidate Prabhatsinh Chauhan, Modi attacked Rahul, who had yesterday said the CM was taking undue credit for Amul (milk) revolution.
"Rahul bhaiya had said Modi keeps saying he gives milk to Delhi... then what he said... I cannot even speak that... You can watch it on YouTube... can the country be given in the hands of such a person?" he asked.
Further targeting the Congress VP, Modi said, "If one listens to Rahul bhaiya (speeches), one does not know whether to laugh or cry at him."
At another rally in Dahod district, Modi continued his attack on Rahul and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi. "Rahul bhaiya does not know how to maintain dignity in public.
"The mother-son duo is so angry with me that if I come in front of them they will eat me raw. Since 60 years no one has challenged their Sultanate, for the first time a tea-vendor from Gujarat is challenging them."
Image: BJP's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi addresses a rally in Modasa, Gujarat