Campaigning in his home State of Gujarat on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi fired back at Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s “Ravan” comment targeting him.
He said that Congress leaders feel entitled to abuse the Prime Minister and there is a “competition about who can abuse Modi more, who can deliver the most stinging attack”.
It was not okay to call someone “Ravan” in the land of Ram devotees, Mr. Modi commented, addressing a large gathering in Panchmahal district on Thursday amidst voting for the first phase of polling in Saurashtra and south Gujarat constituencies.
“A few days back, a Congress leader said Modi will die a dog’s death, another said Modi will die Hitler’s death. Another said if I get a chance, I’ll kill Modi myself,” the PM said, adding that Congress leaders can praise only members of a family.
“Someone says Ravan, someone says demon, someone says cockroach... I’m not surprised that Congress calls Modi names, I’m surprised - anyone would be - that despite using such words, the Congress never has remorse. Congress thinks it is their right to insult Modi, the Prime Minister of this country,” he said.
He remarked that on one day, the Congress party and its leaders don’t believe in the existence of Lord Rama, while on the next day, their party chief attacks him with the “Ravan” comparison.
On Thursday, the PM held a couple of rallies in central and north Gujarat seats and then led a massive roadshow across Ahmedabad city, passing through around a dozen assembly segments, starting from Naroda in North Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar South in the State capital.
A huge number of people standing on both sides of the route welcomed Mr. Modi and greeted him with flower petals during the roadshow that began around 5:20 p.m. In the evening, party workers burst crackers to greet the PM. Standing on a specially-designed vehicle, Mr. Modi waved back at the swelling crowds across the city.
Ahead of the voting in 93 crucial seats in the central and north Gujarat regions on December 5, leaders of the BJP, Congress and the AAP are camping in the State, addressing gatherings, holding rallies and leading roadshows.
Besides the PM, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, and Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann are in Gujarat campaigning for their respective parties.
The Prime Minister is expected to address four rallies starting with Kanakrej, then Patan and Sojitra, and finally in Ahmedabad on Friday where he will hold a roadshow apart from the rally.
For the second phase of polling, campaigning will end on the evening of December 3.