Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that he hurls "four quintals of gaalis" (abuses) at the grand old party everyday and targets its leaders, including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Kharge was addressing a rally at Waghodia town in Vadodara district of Gujarat in support of Congress candidate Satyajitsinh Gaekwad.
While the first phase of the assembly election was conducted on Thursday, the second phase will be held on December 5.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi addressed a rally at Kalol town in Panchmahal district, where he said a competition was on among Congress leaders as to who will use the most abusive words against him. Last month, speaking at a public meeting in Hyderabad, Modi had said he receives "2.5-3 kg" of abuses everyday, but he turns the harsh remarks into positive energy.
"Modiji repeatedly claims that we insulted him. He accuses me and other Congress leaders of using abusive words for him. Sometimes Modiji says he is poor. For how long you will keep saying this (that I am poor)? How is this possible when you have served as the chief minister of Gujarat for nearly thirteen-and-a-half years and have been serving as the PM for the last eight years?" asked the Congress chief.
If Modi remains poor even after serving as CM as well as PM for two decades, then imagine the plight of Dalits, poor people and tribals, Kharge said.
Accusing Modi of making such claims to get "sympathy", the Congress president asked him to raise the issue of development during polls.
"Modi claims that Congress gives him two kilograms of gaalis (abuses) everyday. The fact is that you give us four quintals of gaalis everyday. Sometimes you target me or Sonia Gandhi or Rahul Gandhi. Without giving us gaalis, you are unable to digest your food. But for the sake of citizens, we never say anything," Kharge said.
He said that had the Congress not preserved Indian democracy and Constitution for seven decades, then Modi and his friends could have never become prime minister and chief minister.
Kharge also accused the PM and his government of "selling" assets, which were created during the erstwhile Congress regime.
"Whatever we have created in the past, Modiji is selling everything, be it ports or airports. After selling such assets off, they ask us what we have done in the past 70 years. I want to tell him that you are selling whatever we have created," he alleged.
The Congress reaction came a day after the BJP and its ministers released videos of the opposition party "insulting" the prime minister ahead of Gujarat assembly polls.
"What about the numerous times he has insulted Smt Sonia Gandhi in the most awful language and the atrocious manner he mocked Dr Manmohan Singh in Parliament," said AICC general secretary, communications, Jairam Ramesh.
"Should I remind Mr Modi what he said on Feb 8, 2017 in Rajya Sabha about Dr Manmohan Singh -- that he knew the ‘art of bathing with a raincoat on'. Can there be a cheaper & crasser comment by any PM on his predecessor, and that too in the very temple of democracy?" Ramesh said on Twitter.
AICC media in-charge Pawan Khera also tweeted, "If you keep talking about our leaders and elders, then have the courage to listen too."
Before Kharge, another Congress leader had said the party will show Modi his 'aukat' (place), the PM said, apparently referring to Madhusudan Mistry's remark last month.
Kharge on Monday night addressed a rally in Behrampura area of Ahmedabad city where he said the prime minister asks people to vote "looking at his face" in all elections. "Are you 100-headed like Ravan," he had said.