Bengaluru: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Maharashtra to campaign for the BJP, ahead of the Assembly poll, to be held on October 21. 

Addressing a rally at Akola, he said, “Congress refused to give Bharat Ratna to BR Ambedkar. They are the ones who are insulting Veer Savarkar and now they are against abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir."

The sharp reactions from the Prime Minister come a day after the state BJP promised Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar in its poll manifesto. The Prime Minister further added, "It is due to Savarkar's sanskar [values] that we put nationalism as basis for nation building.”

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Modi was in no mood to let go of the Congress. From the issue of Bharat Ratna to Veer Savarkar, he next jumped to the issue of abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A. On the criticisms by the Congress that there was no use talking about abrogation of the Articles in Maharashtra, the PM hit back, saying, "There are people who are openly questioning what the point of Article 370 in Maharashtra elections is. I want to tell those people and they'd better listen - like Maharashtra, people of Jammu & Kashmir belong to India."

It was on August 5 that the Indian government took the decision of invalidating the Articles under question, with the help of a presidential order. Later, the resolution to abrogate was moved and passed by both the houses of the Indian Parliament. 

Maharashtra has a total of 288 assembly seats. While BJP and Shiv Sena have formed an alliance, the Congress and the NCP too have joined hands. 

The elections in the state (and Haryana) are the first elections after Modi returned to power at the Centre with a thumping majority. So the results in these elections become all the more important as they indicate the mood of the people.