Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday accused Congress of looking for support outside the country, in a veiled reference to Pakistan whose former minister recently tweeted in favour of Rahul Gandhi.
In an apparent reference to the corruption allegations over the Rafale fighter deal, he accused the Congress of indulging in mud-slinging against the government, saying the opposition party found it easier than debating issues like development.
Addressing a rally here in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh along with Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah, Modi also slammed vote-bank politics and the practice of triple talaq while targeting the Congress party.
The Congress has been reduced from 440 seats in the Lok Sabha to 44 seats due its 'arrogance' but it is still not ready to introspect or correct itself, he said.
"What a condition the 125-year-old Congress been reduced to! Nothing remains in the Congress... You need to look for the Congress party with a microscope now," he said at the rally also addressed by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Mocking the Congress, Modi said the party has been reduced to such a condition that it is 'begging' with small parties for alliances.
He went on to add, "Even if they get allies, the coalition will not be successful. So, they (Congress) are looking for support from outside India...Now, will some countries decide who will become the prime minister in India?"
He was apparently referring to a tweet by former Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik who had said that Rahul Gandhi will be next PM of India if he follows 'Jet Gate' (Rafale deal) properly.
Modi asked, "Congress, what has happened to you? Have you lost balance after losing power?"
Apparently referring to the charges of corruption being levelled by the Congress in the Rafale fighter deal, the prime minister said, "They (Congress) are indulging in mud-slinging because they find it easier."
He said the Congress had indulged in 'mud-slinging' earlier too. "But I want to tell them, the more you throw mud at us, the more the lotus (BJP's symbol) will bloom," he added.
Modi said the Congress' attempts to defame him in the last two decades haven't worked.
"Ever since I came into politics in 2001, you (Congress) have used all your strength to hurl abuses at me. There would not be a single abuse left in the dictionary now. However, the more mud you threw, the more the lotus bloomed," he said.
"I urge you (Congress) to come and oppose, debate and discuss on topics of development. However, they will not do this, as they find it easier to indulge in mud-slinging. But the more mud you throw, the more the lotus will bloom," Modi said.
He said the 'Congress has become a burden on the country today' and 'it is the responsibility of BJP workers in a democracy to save the country from it'.
"In 1984, we lost (elections), but we introspected and worked to regain the trust of the people. We did not try to save our skin by blaming EVMs for our losses. Today people have once again reposed their faith in us," he said.
He then told the gathering that if the Congress is 'destined to be ruined', the BJP need not worry.
At the rally seen as launch of poll campaign, the prime minister said vote-bank politics, like termites, has destroyed the country.
"These are the people who used a section of society to win elections, never caring to work for the welfare of others but only trying to save their chair. This sin of dividing the country is one major reason of its destruction," Modi said, in a veiled attack on the Congress.
"They have committed a sin of dividing the society and destroying the social fabric to ruin the country," he said.
"If you want to save the country from ruining caused in 70 years after Independence, you have to shoulder a vital responsibility," Modi told the rally of BJP workers.
He said his government believes that the entire 125 crore citizens of India are one family.
"Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas (cooperation of all, development of all) is not a mere slogan for us. It is our commitment," the prime minister said.
Referring to the practice of triple talaq, he said it is not acceptable even in Islamic countries.
"Even the party headed by a woman is not concerned about our Muslim sisters. This is the deformed face of vote-bank politics," Modi said attacking the Congress.
"It is the responsibility of BJP workers to protect the country from the vote-bank politics which has destroyed the country in the past 70 years," he said.
Modi said his government believes in social justice for all and that its 'Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas' (cooperation of all, development of all) campaign is not just a slogan.
He said the opposition parties had formed the 'Maha-gathbandhan" (grand alliance) out of fear of losing the polls'.
"Due to fear of defeat, Congress is begging for the alliance with small parties, he said.
He said the Congress 'arrogance' makes its leaders believe that ruling the country is their right.
The Congress is 'unable to accept that a 'chai wala' (tea vendor) or the son of a poor mother like Shivraj and (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister) Yogi (Adityanath) could attain the chair of power'.
Modi said when the United Progressive Alliance was in power at the Centre, it held grudges against not only the BJP-ruled governments in other states, but also with its people.
"They created obstacles in every works of BJP governments. They did not care if money, schemes were left hanging but only wanted no works to be completed only then the BJP governments would be ousted by people. Time has now come to teach them a lesson," he said.
Expressing confidence that the BJP would win the upcoming Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Modi invoked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, saying, 'the son of this soil may no longer be with us, but his memories are'.
He also showered praise on late BJP leader Vijaya Raje Scindia, popularly known as 'Rajmata' of Gwalior, who is grand mother of Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia.
"The country can't forget three great leaders -- Mahatma Gandhi, Ram Manohar Lohia and Deendayal Upadhaya. They worked for the upliftment of the last man (poorest of the poor), he said.
"We are the people who accept Gandhi also, Lohia also and Upadhaya also as they always thought of the development of the last man of the society," he said.