The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, on Tuesday appealed to voters to give the National Democratic Alliance more than 300 seats in the coming elections so that it could give a “strong and stable government.”

“I appeal to voters from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to elect more than 300 MPs from the NDA and all [seats] from Uttar Pradesh. If there is a strong government at the Centre with a Prime Minister who has more than 300 MPs, the entire world will listen to him,” he said at a rally in Bareilly.

The UPA’s aim was no longer government formation but to create instability even at the cost of the national interest. “When I was declared the prime ministerial candidate, the Congress celebrated it, saying the BJP would not get any allies, and its friends would desert it. But across the nation, we have a dozen new allies. Then, they said Modi would not be able to run the country as he had experience only in Gujarat. That also didn’t work. Now, the Congress is playing a new game, talking about unstable governments,” he said.

Mr. Modi took a dig at his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Akhilesh Yadav, saying the lions brought from his State were caged in a Lucknow zoo, unlike in the Gir National Park, where they roamed free. It was not in the U.P. government’s capacity to handle them, and “that’s why they have caged the lions.”

Mr. Yadav retorted saying the lions were not brought for free. “The lions from Gujarat have been exchanged for hyenas.”

(With additional reporting by Atiq Khan)