Wardha/New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday shifted the goalpost of the 2019 Lok Sabha election when he stung the Congress for having coined the term “Hindu terror” and insulting the entire “peace-loving community”.

Quite symbolically, he was speaking at Wardha, the land of Mahatma Gandhi, where the Congress Working Committee (CWC) had met in 2018. It was the launch of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance’s campaign for the 2019 general elections in Maharashtra.

“For the sake of vote-bank politics, the Congress, NCP and their allies can stoop to any level. The Congress had made a lowly attempt to stigmatise crores of Indians with the term ‘Hindu terror’. Now with the verdict of the courts, the conspiracy and the reality of the Congress have been exposed in front of the people,” PM Modi said.

PM Modi said the Congress had tried to tarnish the image of thousands of years of Hindu culture. “The Congress and its friends conspired to tarnish our culture of over 5,000 years. The Congress has committed this sin against the nation and its people. Howsoever they might run, they cannot cleanse themselves of this sin,” he added.

The prime minister said that the people of the country had made up their minds to punish the Congress. This was why they were “turning towards such seats where the majority is in minority”, he said.

“When the entire world is standing with India in its response to terrorism, the Congress and its allies are speaking in Pakistan’s language. The people of the nation must tell whether they want ‘saboot’ (proof of 2016 surgical strikes and Indian Air Force’s strike at Balakot) or ‘sapoot’ (an able son of the soil)? Do we want Indian heroes or Pakistani? Those asking for the proof of the bravery of Indian sons must be taught a lesson,” the PM said.

The PM said that the ‘mahamilawat’ (hyper-adulteration) of the Congress and NCP were trying to belittle the bravery and sacrifice of soldiers.

“Our brave soldiers crossed the border and hit terrorists inside their houses and these people are asking for proof!” PM Modi said.

Taking a dig at the NCP, PM Modi reminded the huge crowd at the rally of the Azad Maidan riots of 2012. “The people of Maharashtra must not forget that Congress and NCP had given a free hand to mobs and violence at Azad Maidan when the memorial of martyrs was desecrated,” PM Modi said, also reminding the people that it was Sushil Kumar Shinde who had coined the term of “Hindu terror” when the former cop was the Union home minister.