In a remark that is likely to trigger another war of words between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday congratulated the mosquitoes of Bundelkhand region for daring to bite Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi.
Addressing an election rally in Sagar, Modi, BJP's prime ministerial candidate, said, "I want to congratulate the mosquitoes as they had dared to bite the Shahzada (Rahul), because no one from his family had been touched in the last hundred years."
Let alone touching, if anyone said a word against the Gandhi family, its loyalists would not spare him or her, Modi added.
Rahul had said last month at a public meeting that he suffered mosquitoes bites when he was visiting the area in 2009. Modi said he wanted to fight elections on the issue of development, but the Congress was shying away from this, and it was only interested in increasing its vote banks.
Congressmen did not have any sense of responsibility and they continued to be involved in one scam or the other, he said.
In contrast, Modi said, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had visited almost every village in the state and given an account of the work done by his government.
Later, at a rally in Guna, Modi expressed confidence that the BJP would come to power at the Centre after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Alleging that the Congress takes people for ride by making false promises, he said, "Once my party comes to power in New Delhi, no one would be able to loot the government money as is happening now under the United Progressive Alliance government."
There would be watchdogs to ensure that there was no waste or misappropriation of government funds, he said. Modi reminded that before the last Lok Sabha elections
Congress had promised to curb inflation within 100 days and promised one crore jobs to the youths, but these promises were not fulfilled.
"If Congressmen had their way, they would even promise the people that they would take them to the moon or the mars," said Modi.
There was only one thing which Congress leaders had learnt from the British, which was "divide and rule", he said. Madhya Pradesh had a pro-incumbency wave, he claimed.
"The people of Madhya Pradesh are so impressed with the Shivraj Singh Chouhan's government that they want to vote it to power again," he said.