The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, while coming down heavily on the Congress, said on Friday that the party remembered the poor only when it faced elections.

“The Congress keeps uttering poor, poor, poor before elections the same way students pray to God before their examinations,” said Mr. Modi at a rally in this coastal Odisha town. Without taking Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s name, Mr. Modi said: “Poverty is like tourism for some people. Instead of serving the poor, some visit the poor and even eat their food to gain publicity.”

He said the ongoing election was being fought on clear lines. While the Congress was seeking votes by talking about poverty, the BJP was committed to serving the poor, he added.

Expressing confidence that the BJP will form the next government at the Centre, Mr. Modi assured the people that his party’s aim was to provide employment.

He criticised the Naveen Patnaik government for large-scale corruption and said that the mining scam in Odisha could not draw the nation’s attention because of other big scams in Delhi.