Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on the Congress, saying its only "vision" was "division" of communities and accused party chief Rahul Gandhi of labelling all OBCs as "thieves". He said the Congress operated an ecosystem that worked on spreading "lies" against him and his government, first when he was the Gujarat Chief Minister and then when he moved to Delhi in 2014.
PM Modi said in its attempt to defame him, the opposition party was only maligning the country. "The Congress is running a system of lies. It played the same game when I was in Gujarat, it is doing the same after I moved to Delhi," Modi said, addressing an election rally in Anand.
"They would first come together to create a false article and get it published somewhere, then they would carry the article all over the world, advertise it, spread it on WhatsApp...
"On the second day, they would hold a press conference on those issues," he said. Based on the false article, a PIL would be moved in court with Congress lawyers supporting people filing such PILs as part of the system, PM Modi said without elaborating.
"When we contested elections in Gujarat, they would begin the game every Wednesday which would go on till Tuesday. These days the game is played twice every week in Delhi and people fed by the Congress support it," the PM said.
"You will find many such lies which the Congress created like this. Every few weeks, the Congress ecosystem starts playing up a new issue. "We need to be careful about such people. You cannot imagine the kind of lies they plant in social media," he said.
The prime minister said the game of defaming him continued when he moved to Delhi after the BJP-led NDA came to power at the Centre. "Earlier, they would defame Gujarat in their bid to oppose Modi, behaving as if Gujarat was not in India, (and) made it appear an enemy.
"Now that Modi is serving the country, they are opposing, defaming the country in their attempt to defame Modi," he said.
PM Modi accused the Congress of insulting Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and said the situation in India would have been different had the freedom movement icon been the country's first prime minister.
He said the Congress insulted Patel "at every step to further the cause of the (Nehru-Gandhi) family". Patel spent his life in uniting India but the Congress was busy embracing separatists, PM Modi said.
The PM attacked the Congress for labelling the middle class as "selfish" and alleged price rise was a regular feature when the country's oldest party was in power. "Division of communities is the only vision of the Congress," Modi told the public meeting.
"The Congress' `naamdar' (dynast) termed the entire backward class as thieves. The insult inflicted on the honest in their (Congress) vendetta against Narendra Modi will not be tolerated," he warned.
The PM hit out at the Congress for promising to abolish sedition law and reviewing the AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) if it came to power. "It wants to strengthen stone-pelters and ensure that the "tukde tukde (nation-breaking) gang" can easily chalk out a conspiracy to disintegrate the country," PM Modi said.
He said when dynastic rule becomes the "sole vision", then they (Congress) resort to hurling abuses.
Modi said the Congress insulted attires of people from the north-eastern states and linked Hindus to terror. Addressing a poll rally in Maharashtra recently, Gandhi had said, "I have a question. Why all the thieves have Modi in their names whether be it Nirav Modi, Lalit Modi and Narendra Modi? We don't know how many more such Modis will come out."
Polling for all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat will be held on April 23. In 2014, the BJP had won all the seats in the PM's home state.