Unleashing a flurry of personal attacks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Monday alleged that he 'abandoned his wife for political gains', drawing angry reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party which said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister has no respect for women and is 'unfit for public life'.
Mayawati also alleged that women in the BJP are scared of their husbands meeting the PM fearing they might 'abandon their wives like him' and that Modi deserves the abusive language used against him by the opposition.
With the prime minister daring her to withdraw support to Congress government in Rajasthan over the Alwar gang rape case, the BSP supremo, in a statement, accused him of playing 'dirty politics' over the incident.
"It is extremely shameful. How can he respect others' sisters and wives when he has abandoned his own innocent wife for political gains?" she said.
"I have come to know that in BJP, married women leaders get scared when they see their husbands in Modi's close proximity. They fear that like Modi they might also abandon their wives.
"Under such circumstances, I specially request all the women of the country not to give their votes to such a person. This would also be their real respect to the deserted wife of Modi ji," she said in her no-holds-barred attack.
Addressing a joint SP-BSP rally here, Mayawati repeated her caste swipe at Modi, calling him a 'fake OBC'.
"He (Narendra Modi) is lamenting in his rallies that Opposition is using abusive language for him. 'Jo gaali khaata hai, woh gaali khaane ka kaam karta hai' (those who get abused must have done something to deserve this treatment)," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said.
BJP leader and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that instead of answering political questions raised by Modi on the rape of a Dalit woman in Rajasthan, Mayawati resorted to personal attacks, showing her anxiety that her party's grand alliance with SP in Uttar Pradesh was 'going nowhere'.
Mayawati should apologise, she demanded, adding the BSP leader's remarks show that she has 'no respect' either for women or any institution.
'Behan Mayawati - She is firm on becoming a Prime Minister. Her governance, ethics and discourse stoops to an all-time low. Her personal attack today on the Prime Minister exposes her as unfit for public life,' Finance Minister Arun Jaitley tweeted.
Mayawati also took a jibe at the PM for terming poverty as his caste during an election rally earlier last week, saying 'he is changing his caste every second day for political selfish motives'.
Dubbing the PM's 'affection' for Dalits as 'dramebazi', she cited the various alleged cases of atrocities on Dalits in Gujarat and other BJP ruled states and said Modi has no moral right to make any suggestion to anyone on the Alwar case.
"If he was really concerned for the poor he would have given Rs. 15 to 20 lakh to every poor as promised and would not have taken the decision on note ban in a hurry which has rendered many people jobless and many people lost their lives," she said.
"Neither is the Prime Minister poor nor is he a fakir and is merely doing drama for the vote of the poor," she stressed.
She repeated her charge that Modi got his caste included in the most backward caste list to suit his political motives.
"He (Modi) can't be the real OBC as he is a fake OBC. Akhilesh Yadav ,who is sitting with us, is the real OBC," she said referring to SP chief at the rally.
"Our alliance is strong, durable and long lasting and it won't sit quiet till it uproots Modi government at the centre and Yogi Government in the state. The polling trends are in our favour and this is the reason why BJP people's faces are turning pale," she said.
She claimed that the prime minister was using honorifics like 'behenji' and 'behen kumari' Mayawati during rallies earlier as he was hoping that the Samajwadi Party and BSP will end their tie-up, but he has now returned to his barbs of 'bua and babua' as he knows that the alliance is going strong.
Mayawati claimed that May 23, when counting of votes is scheduled, will herald 'bad days for the BJP' and therefore its leaders were agitated.
Hitting back, Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Chandra Mohan said 'nothing can be more indecent than the statements made by her. The truth about Mayawati and her politics is coming out in front of everyone'.
"Today her model in 'parijan hitaay, parijan sukhaay (in the interest of the family, for the happiness of the family). So far in the elections, people from different walks of life in the state have voted for the BJP, and this is the reason why Mayawati is feeling sad and hopeless," he told reporters.