Taking on the prime minister over his nationalistic poll pitch, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Sunday said even when Narendra Modi "didn't learn to wear pyjamas and pants", Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi had built the country's defence forces.
The veteran Congress leader's stinging attack on Modi came days after the prime minister referred to him as 'bhrasht' Nath, meaning corrupt. Addressing an election rally at Harsud in Khandwa district, Nath said the "highest" number of terror attacks happen whenever the BJP is in power at the Centre.
"Modi talks about security of the country. Was the country not in safe hands five years ago?
"Modi, when you had not even learned to wear pyjamas and pants, Jawaharlal Nehru (the first prime minister of India) and (former PM) Indira Gandhi had created the Army, the Air Force and the Navy for this country. And, you say that the country is safe under you," he said.
Modi has been invoking the Pulwama terror attack and Balakot air strike in an apparent bid to build a poll narrative around national security and a decisive government.
"Under whose government did most terror attacks happen? Whose government was in Delhi when terror attack on Parliament happened (in 2001)? The BJP government was there and statistics shows that the highest number of terrorist attacks have happened under the BJP rule," the chief minister said.
Continuing his tirade, the Congress leader said Modi has failed to keep his promise of generating jobs for youths.
"Modi promised to give crores of employment but how many youths have got jobs? Modi said good days will come. Whose good days have come? Modi promised to bring back black money from abroad. Where is that money?" he asked.
In a recent interview to a TV channel, Modi had referred to the chief minister as 'bhrasht' Nath after tax raids were conducted at properties linked to his close associates.
"I didn't raise the finger against corruption, corruption is an issue for us. Just see what happened in Bhopal. 'Bhrasht' Nath can say anything but it doesn't matter," Modi had said.
Polling in all 29 Lok Sabha seats of Madhya Pradesh is slated to be held in four phases beginning April 29.