Addressing delegates on the concluding day of a leadership meet here, Modi blamed Congress president Sonia Gandhi for not making her son and party vice president Rahul Gandhi the prime ministerial candidate.
The Bharatiya Janata Party leader said there was more than one reason why the Congress failed to name Rahul Gandhi for the top post despite earlier hints.
“There can be several reasons for running away (from the battlefield) but I see a human angle as well,” Modi said, pausing for effect.
“When defeat is certain, which mother would send her son to the battlefield only to be slain?” he asked, triggering laughter and clapping at the Ramlila Maidan.
“Which mother would sacrifice her son in politics? So a mother’s heart decided that she must save her son.”
In a strong attack on the Nehru-Gandhi family, Modi said the Congress had never democratically elected its leaders.
He said the “high caste” Congress might have thought it was not right to fight a “tea vendor” from “a backward caste”.
“The traditions in which they have grown up, their minds are feudalistic.
“Yes, they feel the Lok Sabha election is important, but it is an insult to fight against a tea vendor…
“How can they take on someone from a backward caste whose mother used to wash dishes,” he said, triggering another round of slogans hailing Modi.