BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Wednesday described sitting Solapur MP and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde as a “blind devotee" of the Gandhi family.

Mr Modi was campaigning for the saffron alliance's candidates in the Western Maharashtra region.

"Mr Shinde is only interested in being a bhakt (devotee) of the (Gandhi) family. You need someone who is a devotee of the country, a desh-bhakt," Mr Modi said in Solapur.

Calling him a "tyre that fits in any vehicle," Mr Modi raised the question of why the Congress party had been generous with Mr Shinde by giving him multiple prestigious positions. "This is because he smiles for everything. He is a dedicated devotee, " Mr Modi said.

Mr Modi spoke of the Congress and its alliance partner the Nationalist Congress Party's arrogance in dealing with farmers at both the rallies, attended in huge number by Western Maharahstra's agricultural community.

Reminding the farmers of NCP leader Ajit Pawar's comment of whether he should urinate to fill the dams in a drought-hit Maharashtra, Mr Modi said, "When you go to vote, just remember the arrogance and see if your conscience lets you vote for them."

Addressing a rally in Sangli earlier in the day, Mr Modi also asked people to take note of dynastic rule, both in the district and at the Centre. Sangli's sitting MP Pratik Patil is the grandson of Vasantdada Patil, former Maharashtra Chief Minister. "In spite of being ruled by powerful political families, there is no development in the region. For how long will you tolerate these families?" he asked the audience. "Dynasty politics is the biggest obstacle to India's growth," he said.

Reminding people of his modest background, Mr Modi attacked Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi yet again. "People born with golden spoons in their mouths go to poor people’s homes with photographers. What do they about poverty?” he asked, declaring that only a man like him who had experienced poverty could understand the pain of the poor.

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