Narendra Modi on Thursday hit out at Congress for 'chai-wala' barbs, saying the ruling party was mocking at the poor whom it has used only as a vote-bank without doining anything for them.
The BJP leader also took a dig at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for saying that Modi will not be able to convert Uttar Pradesh into Gujarat.
"Netaji, do you know the meaning of coverting to Gujarat? It means 24-hour electricity in every village and street. You can't do it. It requires 56-inch chest," Modi said, apparently suggesting that it requires decisiveness.
The BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate appealed for a mandate for a minimum of 60 months, promising to convert the country's huge potential into a reality so that it matches the most developed countries of the world.
"This country is not poor. The people of this rich country have been kept poor for the sake of politics... You give me 60 months and I promise you a life of happiness and peace," he told a large rally in the eastern UP town.
Congress governments have failed to eradicate poverty despite repeatedly projecting it as a main plank for the last 60 years, he said.
In a sarcastic tone, he said he has been wondering for long as to why the poverty has been increasing despite the poor voting for the Congress all these years
"Now I have got the answer. The Congress' political future lies in keeping them poor... Its mentality is anti-poor," he added.
Apparently referring to the 'chai-wala' barb at him by Congress leaders, Modi said it was because of the party's mentality that "no Congress leader is ready to tolerate a tea-vendor, son of a poor mother holding his head high. They mock at the poor."
Promising to work for boosting the development of the country, including in agriculture sector, and creating job opportunities, Modi invoked Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his birthday today as he asked the people to elect "this sevak (servant)" after giving chances to "rulers" for 60 years.
Referring to Subhash Chandra's Bose's famous lines 'you give me blood, I will give you freedom', he said, "You (people) give me 60 months and I will give you a life of peace. I have come here to make this promise."
Noting that Gujarat under him had witnessed sustained high growth, the state Chief Minister said, "We don't want to see India crying and with begging hand. I want to say that you have selected rulers for 60 years, I have come to ask only for 60 months. Elect this servant once as see."
The BJP leader, who was addressing Vijay Sankhnaad rally here, said "We have seen several elections but this election is such where the people have already decided about the future of the country. The country has decided to bid farewell to Congress and its allies. This time the dream of Congress-free India will be realised and it is clear."
He said the Congress used to think that it can run the government as long as it keeps its vote-bank in good humour. "It is past now. BJP is committed to the politics of development. We can't turn things around without good governance," he said.
Modi, who addressed the rally here shortly after Mulayam Singh Yadav's rally, targetted the Uttar Pradesh's SP government, saying it had "destroyed" the state by squandering its big mandate in the assembly polls by not delivering peace, jobs to the youth and progress to farmers.
Taunting Yadav and his Chief Minister son Akhilesh Yadav for holding rallies which coincide with his public addresses, he said "the father and the son are chasing me".
Mulayam had attacked Modi over the 2002 riots in Gujarat, taunting him that he won't be able to turn UP into Gujarat.
Modi said Gujarat had been living a life of "peace and harmony" for the last 10 years which was beyond Mulayam, whom he referred as 'netaji' in his address.
If elected to power, BJP government will bring about a "white-revolution" in UP which despite being an agriculture state was buying milk from outside, Modi said.
Stressing the need for giving priority to agriculture in the country, he said BJP had vowed to develop UP which was capable of changing the face of the country if developed to its potential.
He said Congress, SP and BSP have "one master", an apparent reference to the support t o the Congress government by the two UP-based parties.
In his 45-minute long speech, Modi harped on his developmental agenda, saying the vote-bank politics of Congress and others have done no good to the country.