The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, took a dig at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, saying the latter was being “unnecessarily criticised” for the UPA’s failures whereas all the “sins had been committed by the mother-son duo [Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi]” in the past 10 years.

Addressing an election rally here, Mr. Modi said: “At times, I have made some improper comments about Dr. Singh. I should not have said them. He has done no wrong.”

Mr. Modi alleged that the “entire sin had been perpetrated by the mother-son team for all these 10 years.”

“They have destroyed the country,” he said, referring to the “revelations” made by Sanjaya Baru, former media adviser to the Prime Minister, in his book The Accidental Prime Minister.

Mr. Modi said the Prime Minister’s daughter, Upinder Singh, had, in fact, authenticated the claims made by Mr. Baru by criticising the writer for making public “matters relating to the house.” He said her reaction underscored the fact that what Mr. Baru had written was correct and that her objection was limited to his making the details public.

Hitting out at Ms. Gandhi, Mr. Modi said her claim, in a TV advertisement telecast on Monday evening, that her party respected democratic institutions was hollow. “The Congress had dismissed all Governors after coming to power in 2004 without even consulting the chief ministers in utter violation of democratic practice,” he said.

'Rahul has child’s heart'

Mr. Modi said the Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had a “child’s heart” as he was obsessed with things like toffee and balloons.

Reacting to the “toffee model of development” jibe by Mr. Gandhi at a rally in Latur on Monday, Mr. Modi said the Congress leader “first loved balloons then shifted his focus to toys and now he yearns for toffees.”