Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accused the Congress of seeking to divide women in the name of caste and by spreading lies, as he launched a fierce counter-attack on the party over its demand of OBC sub-quota in women's reservation in legislatures.
Addressing a large crowd to mark the end of the BJP's 'parivartan yatra' in Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh, he invoked his own OBC background to assert that the country's main opposition hates him and has not stopped abusing the backwards, Dalits and tribals despite its leader being sentenced by court, an apparent reference to Rahul Gandhi.
Gandhi was convicted by a Gujarat court for his "Modi surname" remarks. The Supreme Court has stayed the conviction.
As a member from a backward community became prime minister, that is why the Congress dislikes him so much as it believes that the chair was "reserved" for it, Modi alleged.
"The Congress does not shy from abusing the entire backward community in the name of Modi," he said.
The prime minister also made it all but clear that the BJP will not be projecting any chief ministerial candidate in the state, telling party workers that it has only one leader and one candidate which is 'lotus'.
"We have to win over the heart of every voter at booths," he said, asserting that people have decided to get rid of the Congress government mired in "corruption" and "scams" in every scheme.
Turning to the women's reservation law and the opposition's demand for an OBC quota within it, he asked the women to stay united and continue "blessing" him amid attempts to spread lies and divide them in the name of caste.
The Congress, the prime minister said, is full of anger and has lost its sleep as it seems to the party that mothers and sisters will bless him for this.
"Due to this fear, they (Congress) are playing new games. They want to sow division among our sisters because they know if you remain united, their game is over," he said.
They are working to divide women in the name of caste and resorting to various tactics, he said.
"I want to tell women of Chhattisgarh that this decision (law) will have an impact for thousands of years. It will empower women in every family... You should not fall for their lies and stay united. You maintain your blessings for me so that Modi can fulfil all your dreams," he said.
Modi claimed that opposition parties like the Congress supported the bill in Parliament despite not wanting to do so because of unity and awareness among women.
Only two AIMIM MPs opposed the bill in Lok Sabha and none in Rajya Sabha.
Accusing the Congress of hating the OBCs, Dalits and tribals, he said it opposed the candidature of Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit, for the president's post and then opposed the ruling party's choice of Droupadi Murmu, who went on the become the first tribal woman to occupy the highest constitutional position.
He asserted that the Congress' opposition to Murmu was not on any ideological ground, as the party and other opposition leaders fielded someone who came from the BJP and not someone who represented their ideology.
Former BJP leader Yashwant Sinha was fielded by opposition parties against Murmu.
It is the old Congress mindset that it cannot see any backward, dalit and tribal person rising, he alleged, adding that it only supports those who bow to a particular family.
For the BJP, social justice is the way to make a developed India, he asserted.
The Congress government in Chhattisgarh has been slow in implementing the Centre's housing and piped water schemes for the poor as it does not like "Modi and Modi's schemes".
As the state government can't get to pocket money from these schemes, they are not keen to implement them, he alleged.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.