Bangalore: Targeted by Congress over allegations of illegal snooping, Narendra Modi on Sunday alleged conspiracies were being hatched against him as the ruling party, "sitting in its ivory tower", is unable to digest his popularity.
Accusing Congress of muzzling free expression, he alleged that the party has targeted anyone who has spoken in his favour, including iconic singer Lata Mangeshkar and a leading global investment banking firm.
"These days, attacks on BJP have increased a bit. Attacks on Narendra Modi have also increased. Attacks have increased because of this scene (a reference to the turnout).
"They are unable to bear or digest this. Don't know what kind of language is being used and the kind the conspiracies being hatched..... They are trying various ways and means to rattle BJP," Modi said at a rally, also attended by BJP president Rajnath Singh, held amid tight security at the sprawling Palace Grounds.
Modi's remarks come amid allegations that his trusted aide Amit Shah as home minister had misused powers and police machinery for illegal surveillance of a young woman in 2009, an issue that has led to a slugfest between Congress and BJP. Congress has demanded that BJP rethink its choice of PM candidate, but the BJP has trashed the allegations terming them "baseless".
Two investigative portals, Cobrapost and Gulail, had claimed on November 15 that Shah had ordered the illegal surveillance at the behest of one "saheb" and released taped conversation between Shah and an IPS officer to back up their claim, adding that its authenticity could not be confirmed.
Tearing into the UPA government, Modi said, "Congress is sitting in an ivory tower. They (the Congress) play indoor sport. We (BJP) play outdoor sport."
He also accused the Centre of failure to provide jobs to the youth and treating them just as voter-bank, saying while the UPA government's budget for skill development was Rs 1000 crore, a small state like Gujarat has allocated Rs 800 crore for it.
Alleging that Congress and UPA government played votebank politics, he said after coming to power in 2004, the Central government had overturned POTA thereby allowing terrorists and Naxals to go "scot-free".
He said there is a need for taking the country from a situation of chaos to clarity, from corruption to clean administration and from stagnation to buoyancy.
Some 5,000 security personnel were deployed during the visit of Modi, who landed at the helipad at the venue from the airport to address the rally, as the BJP seeks to cash in on the so called "Modi" factor to boost its prospects in the Lok Sabha polls in Karnataka where it yielded power to Congress in the May assembly elections.
Posters of rebel leader B S Yeddyurappa, who had deserted the party before the last election but supported Modi's nomination, were also visible near the venue.