Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday threw a challenge at the Congress, asking it to contest the remaining phases of the Lok Sabha elections in the name of Rajiv Gandhi, who he recently dubbed as "bhrashtachari no. 1".
He also dared the Congress to a debate on the Bofors scandal and other issues ahead of the last two phases of the polling.
"A few days ago I had called a member of the naamdar parivar (dynasty) as 'bhrashtachari (corrupt) no. 1' and some people got such a severe stomach ache that they started crying aloud. The more they cry, the more will today's generation come to know of the old truths.
"How a family looted the country in the 20th century, destroyed it - the youth of the country should know. I am challenging the Congress from this dais that when polling takes place in the remaining phases in Punjab, Delhi and in Bhopal let it fight the elections in the name of Rajiv Gandhi. I am hopeful that the Congress will accept this challenge," he told an election rally.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been repeatedly daring Modi to debate on issues of national security, especially the Rafale fighter jet deal, asserting that when it happens, the truth will be out in the open.
Responding to Modi's comments that his father Rajiv Gandhi's life ended as "Bhrashtachari No 1," Rahul Gandhi had on Sunday tweeted "Modi Ji, The battle is over. Your Karma awaits you. Projecting your inner beliefs about yourself onto my father won't protect you. All my love and a huge hug"
Modi, without naming anyone, said, "A member of the 'naamdar parivar' is abusing the prime minister for the last one year, without caring for the dignity (of the chair)... You do not have respect for the PM's post".
Claiming that the 'Mahamilawati' (a motley group of opposition parties) have surrendered after four phases of polling and are floundering during the fifth phase on Monday, the prime minister said, "Let the Congress and its allies take the challenge to fight over Bofors issue in the remaining phases.
"Don't run away, this is democracy. Where did the ex- PM take the country?" he said.
Alleging that the Congress had done "injustice" to the country over the past 70 years, Modi said he cannot claim to have completely negate it in five years. "But I have cleaned it up to the maximum extent."
Accusing the Congress of making an independent MLA (Madhu Koda), who was convicted in a coal scam case and is now on bail, the chief minister of Jharkhand, Modi said now the Congress has given ticket to a member of his family (Gita Koda) to contest from Singhbhum. "This is shameful," he said.
Modi also mentioned Congress' alliance with Lalu Prasad's RJD in this context.