Targeting the Gandhi family, Narendra Modi said on Thursday that Sonia Gandhi should let the shehzada (prince) take over the Congress on health grounds and asked Rahul Gandhi whether Central funds for Chhattisgarh came from his “mama’s (maternal uncle) house”.

Mounting a personal attack on the Congress President, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate said, “Madam, you are ill. Let the shehzada take over.”

In Delhi, the Congress hit back at Mr. Modi for his “low-level” remarks and demanded that he apologise.

“We know Modi himself has no limits of decency, but he should at least think of the dignity of the party which has made him its prime ministerial candidate and apologise for the low-level remarks,” party spokesman Meem Afzal told reporters. Citing multi-crore 2G and coal scams, Mr. Modi also said the Congress has done a “Ph.D in corruption” and that it has become a burden on the country. He sought its ouster.

Addressing a series of public meetings in poll-bound Chhattisgarh, including at Kawardha –the home town of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, Mr. Modi slammed the Congress for opposing opinion polls, saying fear of losing elections was the reason behind its “nonsensical” demand and “desperate” tactics.

Alleging that the Congress’ claims of giving massive funds to Chhattisgarh under various schemes are an insult to the State, Mr.Modi said, “Sonia madam and shehzada had come here. They specified the amount of foodgrains and funds that were distributed. Are you people standing here with a begging bowl? What kind of language is the Congress speaking?”

Asserting that the people have a right to Central funds, he targeted the Congress vice-president and made a veiled dig at Ms. Gandhi’s Italian origin.

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