Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday tore into the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, blaming its "appeasement politics" for the failure of law enforcement agencies to rein in terror activities when it was in power and claiming it raised the "bogey of Hindu terror" to "misdirect" investigation.
He also blasted the opposition parties for seeking proof of military operations against terror camps in the aftermath of the Pulwama terror attack, saying they appeared more like spokespersons for Pakistan than political parties representing India.
Kicking off his Lok Sabha poll campaign in Bihar with two back-to-back rallies in Jamui and Gaya, where candidates of his alliance partners -- Lok Janshakti Party and Janata Dal-United -- are in the fray, the prime minister assailed the Congress over a host of issues, including its failure to quell terrorism and lack of development.
He also hit out at National Conference leader Omar Abdullah for advocating restoration of the post of prime minister in Jammu and Kashmir, wondering can any country have more than one PM. "I would like the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, which are part of the same mahamilavat gang, to come clean on the issue," he said.
"They appear more like spokespersons for Pakistan than political parties representing India," Modi said launching his campaign at a rally in Jamui where LJP leader Chirag Paswan, son of party president Ram Vilas Paswan, is in the fray.
In Jamui, the seat reserved for Scheduled Castes, Modi accused the Congress of having neglected B R Ambedkar like no other party did.
He also claimed that his rivals were spreading the canard that the BJP, if voted to power again, will do away with reservations for the backward classes.
"Governance goes into reverse gear when the Congress and its allies are in power. Terrorism, prices, violence, corruption, black money rise when Congress is in power; the country's prosperity, its credibility, the morale of the armed forces, respect for honesty decline," he said.
Addressing another rally in Gaya in central Bihar, once a hotbed of Naxal activities, Modi said the "mahamilavat (great adulteration) gang" was responsible for the surge in ultra-Left insurgency which his government quelled through effective security operations and efforts to reform those involved in such activities.
He said the country used to be rocked by terrorist bombing with alarming frequency in all corners Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Varanasi. There was a sudden drop in such incidents after May, 2014. The change was not brought about by me. You effected this change through your vote," he told the rally.
The government machinery, he said, was the same but what had changed was "style, policy and will" of the government.
"Our agencies were not lacking in ability even before we came to power. But they were not allowed to work on account of the appeasement politics of the previous government. And to misdirect the probe (bhatkaane ke liye), the bogey of Hindu terror was raised. In a case like Samjhauta Express blast, the role of Pakistan was completely brushed under the carpet," he alleged.
Modi's comments came in the backdrop of all accused, including Hindu monk Swami Aseemanand, being acquitted in the Samjhauta Express blast case by a National Investigation Agency court last month.
"Much has been accomplished and much more remains to be done. I assure you that all incomplete works will be completed by this chowkidar of yours... with whom members of the Mahamilavat gang (mahamilavati aur unke pairokar) and sympathisers of terrorists (aatankwadi aur unke madadgar), have a problem," Modi said.
Taking on Congress president Rahul Gandhi for his "chowkidar chor hai" barb, the prime minister alleged the opposition party had a disdain for "all those who earn their livelihood through hard work".
"These people have only disdain for those who earn livelihood through hard work. Be it a chowkidar, a tea seller or a sanitary worker, when they see that I am wearing the epithet of chowkidar as a badge of honour, they demonstrate their snobbish mindset by calling me a watchman of toilets.
"When I wipe the feet of safai karmis at the Kumbh, abuse is heaped on me. Is it not an insult to you?" Modi said in Gaya, also a reserved constituency.
Addressing the rally where Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan were also present, Modi lauded the progress made by the state under the National Democratic Alliance, saying "had you not voted out the previous government, Gaya would have needed many more Dashrath Manjhis".
Dashrath Manjhi, referred to as the "mountain man", was a famed stone-cutter from the district who carved a road out of a hillock by toiling away single-handedly for years with just a chisel and hammer.
Addressing the rally in Jamui, Modi accused the Congress of having done everything to "defeat" Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution.
"The Congress did everything possible to have Babasaheb defeated. It conspired to have his memory erased from the public mind. The 'family' remembered honouring its
own members with Bharat Ratna but forgot Ambedkar," the prime minister said.
He said it was because of the BJP's efforts that Ambedkar was bestowed the highest civilian award years after his death.
In an apparent rebuttal of RJD's repeated claim that that the BJP will do away with quotas in government jobs and educational institutions if voted to power again, Modi declared, "Nobody can even touch reservations for the backward classes."
"We introduced 10 per cent quota for the economically backward people among the unreserved category... we did it without diluting reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs, without causing strife in society," he said.