Congress leader Madhusudan Mistry, who is taking on Narendra Modi in Vadodara, today branded the BJP PM candidate as "casteist" alleging that he was trying to win elections in the constituency by provoking Dalits.
The AICC General Secretary also demanded that Modi resign as Chief Minister before elections to "create a level playing field".
Countering the BJP leader who has been harping on his humble origins, Mistry dubbed Modi as the "face of certain corporates" whom he had given thousands of acres of land "If he is a chaiwala then I am chalwala (slumdweller). He is not a candidate of the poor," Mistry said seeking to dismiss the projection by Modi of himself as a humble tea vendor rising to be the BJP PM candidate.
Mistry, who is leaving for Gujarat today, also slammed Modi for raking up the dalit origin of Narendra Rawat, who was earlier declared the Congress candidate after winning the primaries. He said that since Modi is using caste to win elections, he should first declare what caste he belongs to. "This is for the first time that a leader who is seeking to become the Prime Minister was playing so petty by raking up caste", he said, claiming that Modi was attempting to create an impression among dalits that Congress has dropped a candidate from dalit community. "This is the underlying intention of BJP's PM candidate. Where was his love for dalit earlier when a dalit girl was gangraped in Patan and he did not utter a word. He was also silent when a senior dalit leader Ratilal Verma was denied ticket many times by the BJP. I deplore these attempts by him to take shelter under casteism," he said.
Expressing confidence that he will be able to defeat Modi from Vadodara, he said he had challenged the BJP leader to contest from his native Sabarkatha earlier.