File photo of PM Narendra Modi. Photograph:( ANI )
"The Congress is running out of steam in this election, so they have started dragging my parents into politics,'' Modi said
Prime Minister Narendra Modi slammed the Congress Sunday for dragging his parents into a political slugfest, alleging that it was being done at the behest of party chief Rahul Gandhi.
He also justified his own tirade against the Nehru-Gandhi family, pointing out that unlike his parents, they occupied top positions in politics and the government.
Congress leaders have kicked up a controversy recently by first comparing the falling value of the rupee to the advanced age of Modi's mother and then claiming that the father of the prime minister was not someone illustrious.
"What has happened to the Congress party? Naamdar (referring to Rahul Gandhi) is tacitly supporting it, and therefore, its leaders are dragging the name of my father, who passed away 30 years ago," Modi said, addressing a rally here in poll-bound Madhya Pradesh.
"The Congress is running out of steam in this election, so they have started dragging my parents into politics,'' Modi said.
"No Congressman would make such a statement against me or my family without the consent of the party president (Rahul Gandhi). It is the 'naamdar' (dynast) who is making his leaders speak against me," he added.
"My mother sits in her house, performing religious rites, confining herself to a room, and has never visited Madhya Pradesh. She does not even know the 'R' of 'rajneeti' (politics)," Modi said.
"Yesterday, they took the name of my mother and now my father. The Congress chief is behind this....Naamdar alleges that the prime minister takes the names of his family members. Yes, I have to take their names as they were in politics, unlike my family members who sit quietly in their home and do their job," he added.
"Had my parents held any public post, they should also have been criticised," the prime minister said.
"Your family has occupied top positions at the national level. The more you ask me about my performance, the onus is more on your family as well," he added.
The opposition party was left with no issues and was, therefore, indulging in this kind of an abusive rhetoric, Modi said.
"The Congress should compare its 55 years of rule with my four years (at the Centre) and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's 15 years (in the state).
"The Congress is lying so much to people that the people of Madhya Pradesh should wake up and ensure that not a single Congress candidate wins," he added.
The previous Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had introduced a crop loan waiver scheme in 2008, but of the Rs 6-lakh crore agricultural debt in the country, loans of only Rs 60,000 crore were waived, the prime minister claimed.
Former Union minister Vilas Muttemwar made a controversial statement at a Congress meeting in Rajasthan Saturday.
"Who knew you (Modi) before you became the prime minister? Even now, nobody knows the name of your father, but everyone knows the name of Rahul Gandhi's father," Muttemwar was purportedly heard saying in a video that went viral.
Earlier, Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Raj Babbar had compared the falling value of the rupee to the advanced age of Modi's mother.
In his speech in Vidisha Sunday, Modi also mentioned his cabinet colleague and local MP Sushma Swaraj.
Despite health issues, Swaraj had ensured the development of the constituency, the prime minister said.
The 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly will go to the polls on November 28 and the results will be announced on December 11.