Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying his name would be recorded in history for misleading the entire country.

“He will talk about cows, ram temple and patriotism. Are we all sitting here are not patriots? Mr Modi’s name will be recorded in history as the first prime minister who misled the entire country,” Mr Gehlot told an election rally in Beneshwar Dham in the tribal-dominated constituency of Banswara in Rajasthan.

He said Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been asking the prime minister for a discussion on issues such as schemes for dalits, youths, minorities, weaker section and women but he does not respond.

Responding to the BJP’s criticism that the Congress could not bring prosperity despite ruling the country for a long time, Mr Gehlot said the party maintained democratic culture in the country for the past 70 years and India developed and advanced under the party’s rule.

“Government changed peacefully in the country in 70 years unlike Pakistan where army dictated the country and prime ministers were jailed and even hanged. And Mr Modi says what has Congress done in past 70 years,” Mr Gehlot said.

Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot also attended the rally.

Mr Pilot alleged the prime minister has “done nothing” for the poor, the farmers, the youth, the unemployed and women.

The deputy chief minister said the BJP is avoiding the debate on development issues in this Lok Sabha elections.

“If someone asks him (PM Modi) about the development of the country, he starts talking about issues like Hindustan-Pakistan and Hindu-Muslim,” Mr Pilot said, adding “those who ask questions from Mr Modi and the BJP are termed anti-nationals”. 

He said that prime minister is diverting people’s attention from real issues such as rising inflation, unemployment, scarcity of fertiliser and seeds.  

“Governments have changed but Congress never compromised on its principles. It has worked for poor, tribals and weaker sections of the society,” Mr Pilot said.

Rajasthan goes to the polls in two phases on April 29 and May 6.