Ahmedabad: As hype over Narendra Modi's role in the next Lok Sabha elections grows, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh on Saturday hailed the Gujarat Chief Minister as the "most popular leader of the country" and said the BJP leader has followed the path of Mahatma Gandhi while developing Gujarat.
Addressing a massive crowd during the celebrations of the party's 33rd Foundation Day in Ahmedabad, Rajnath also took potshot at Rahul Gandhi and said the Congress Vice President will have no impact. "It hurts when a leader like Modi is called "Maut ka saudagar". People will teach Congress a lesson for calling Modi "Yamraj"," the BJP leader added. The Congress had compared Modi to "yamraj", the Lord of Death in Hindu mythology.
Meanwhile, Modi, in his address, warned the Congress party against interfering in state politics where the BJP is in power and said any amount of "intimidation" will not work. The BJP leader, who was reinducted in the party's Parliamentary Board earlier in April after a gap of six years, also took on Rahul Gandhi, claiming he was "disappointed" with his speech.
"India may be beehive for the Congress, but for the BJP, it is Mother India," Modi said amid cheers from the party workers. Rahul, while addressing a gathering of business tycoons in New Delhi, had called for unleashing the potential of the Indian "beehive".
Clamour within the BJP has been growing to project Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, which, it has claimed, could take place as early as October or November.
The Gujarat Chief Minister said the Congress uses the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to harass BJP leaders and workers. "Don't expect Congress to change. That will never happen," said Modi. "People of Gujarat punished Congress in the last elections," he added.