Launching a scathing attack on Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday accused it of following political opportunism to further its gains and said the party was a "thing of the past" which the people of Punjab must not trust.
He also said Congress is a "sinking ship" and people should not board it as it would not help them reach anywhere. Addressing an election rally here, he also referred to the politically sensitive issue of Sutlej Yamuna Canal and said Punjab has the right to use water for irrigation.
Modi said waters from Indus river which flow into Pakistan as waste will be brought to Punjab. Haryana and Punjab are locked in a bitter legal and emotional battle over the issue for the past several years.
With Rahul Gandhi raking up the issue of drug menace in the state at a rally in Majitha, Modi hit back at him, saying, "Some people are taking politics to a new low by tarnishing the image of the youth of Punjab."
He also said the pride of Punjabis has been tarnished by such statements and the Assembly polls in the state are the best way to reply to such remarks.
Continuing his broadside against Congress, he said the party is "like water and changes it shape to suit its political needs".
"It is a strange party. It tied up with the Left in West Bengal to survive in the state. Whatever they (Left) gave (as seats), it accepted...In Uttar Pradesh, it attacked the Samajwadi Party in its yatras. Then it went for a pact...It saw an opportunity after a feud in SP...," Modi said.
Dubbing "political opportunism" as the "forte" of Congress, he said the country is witnessing the results of "politics of destruction" the country has seen in the last 70 years. "Now, we have started politics of development," he said.
Referring to demonetisation, he claimed he has been facing "atrocities" for the past three months. "Modi hun. Zulm ke samne jhukta nahin (I am Modi. I do not bow before atrocities)," he said.
The prime minister said his drive against corruption is an apolitical affair aimed at ridding the country of black money.
"But people who have amassed illegal wealth in the past 70 years are worried and are attacking me as they are still unable to digest the decision," he said.