The Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA is set to expand further, BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said Monday, and accused Congress of raising the bogey of secularism in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing an election rally here, the Gujarat chief minister, who began his speech in Bhojpuri, said more political parties would join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) after Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Ram Vilas Paswan decided to return to the NDA fold.
"Many more parties will join the NDA after the LJP joined it," Modi said, sharing the stage with Paswan, who had quit the multi-party alliance following the 2002 Gujarat riots.
"NDA is expanding," Modi said. "NDA is not just the National Democratic Alliance but the National Development Alliance."
Modi also lashed out at the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, accusing it of being soft on the issue of fighting terror.
"Due to its vote bank politics, the Bihar government is not prepared to act tough against militants," he said, adding that militants were finding it easy to get hiding places in Bihar.
The BJP leader said the dream of coming to power should not come in the way of fighting terror.
Without naming Nitish Kumar, Modi accused him of hypocrisy in his political actions.
Nitish Kumar had taken exception to the publication of a photograph showing him holding hands with Modi in 2010 while he was still part of NDA.
"People can forget mistakes but not hypocrisy," Modi said.
He said that nearly 8.5 lakh people had registered for employment in Bihar in 2012 but the state government could give employment to only 2,000 people.
Without naming the Congress, Modi said there were political parties which raised the bogey of secularism to escape accountability on issues such as price rise, unemployment and problems of the poor.
"The attempt is to mislead people and come to power," he said.
"For them, secularism is appeasement and justice for none, for us it is appeasement of none and justice for all. For them, it is religion first, for us it is India first. For them, secularism is a political weapon, for us it is an article of faith," he added.
Modi said an NDA government will ensure that every citizen has a house by 2022.
The BJP leader also said the coming decade will see improvement in the living standards of the poor.
"The coming decade will be a decade of development for the poor and the downtrodden."
Modi took a dig at his opponents, saying they were more concerned about tackling him rather than the nation's problems.
"Our priority is to find a solution to the problems of the country. Their priority is to find a solution to Modi!"
He also underlined the value of maintaining peace in the country.
"Without peace, harmony and unity, the country cannot develop."