Congress on Tuesday sought to puncture BJP’s claim of a Narendra Modi wave in Lok Sabha polls saying the opposition party’s stalwarts including its PM candidate, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley have turned “jittery” and are running “helter skelter” in search of safe seats.

Party spokesman Randeep Surjewala also dismissed as “hearsay and presumptions” suggestions that several leaders including P. Chidambaram, Sachin Pilot and Manish Tewari were not willing to contest and said that the list of candidates is not yet out fully.

“BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate appears to have developed jitters and cold feet. After coming to UP in search of a safe seat and choosing Varanasi, Mr. Modi has again gone back to Gujarat looking for another safe seat. The Opposition party’s PM candidate is unsure of his success,” Mr. Surjewala said.

Contending that top leaders of BJP are “running helter skelter”, he said that they are trying to outdo each other in looking for safe seats.

“Facing certain defeat at the hands of Congress candidate Raj Babbar in Ghaziabad, BJP President Rajnath Singh is running away to Lucknow. The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha and the principal architect of their political policy Arun Jaitley is also running away from his home state Delhi to Amritsar as he does not have the confidence to contest on any of the seven seats here,” he said.

Mr. Surjewala said that similar was the case with senior BJP leader Kalraj Mishra, who is “running away” from Lucknow to Deoria, Uma Bharti from her Parliamentary seat Teekamgarh to Jhansi and Murali Manohar Joshi from Varanasi to Kanpur.

“Where has the BJP’s self-professed culture for respect to elders gone. Senior most party leader L.K. Advani has not been allocated a Parliamentary seat as yet despite the fact that he publicly expressed his desire to contest Lok Sabha polls,” he said.

Accusing Mr. Modi and BJP of losing direction and moorings in the “unlimited lust for power”, the Congress spokesperson said the first three lists of BJP show that there is a “scramble” in that party.

Expressing Congress’ resolve to give a good fight to Mr. Modi, he said, “Do not be surprised if Varanasi witnesses a similar spectacle as Ghaziabad from where BJP chief Rajnath Singh ran away after Congress fielded Raj Babbar.”

He said that the Congress candidate against Mr. Modi in Varanasi, to be declared “very soon”, needed to be supported by all like minded parties as it alone could carry forward the battle against communalism and divisive forces in a cohesive direction.