In a new attack-exchange in politics, Congress chief, Rahul Gandhi described PM Modi as a "dharpok" (coward) and dared him to a five minute face-to-face debate on issues such as Rafale and national security.

In his speech covering a range of topics, Gandhi slammed Modi for his China policy, saying the PM flew to the country and held a summit without an agenda while Beijing sent its army to Doklam."I know his (Modi) character after fighting him for five years...I say to BJP leaders... make Narendra Modi stand with me on stage for five minutes and debate on national security, Rafale," Gandhi said in his speech."I want to say he is a dharpok (coward) person. I have recognized him. He gets scared when he faces someone who says I will not back off, he backs off," the Congress chief added. 

The Congress chief alleged that the RSS was attempting to control the country's institutions, from the judiciary to the Election Commission. He also alleged that Modi was the face but the government was being run by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. "With Narendra Modi as PM, four Supreme Court judges come out and say that 'we are not being allowed to work' and in the same line take the name of Justice Loya and indirectly say that BJP president Amit Shah is not allowing the Supreme Court to do its work," Gandhi said, referring to CBI judge B H Loya who was hearing the Sohrabuddin Sheikh and died in Nagpur on December 1, 2014. He said that the RSS and the BJP think that they are above India, but in three months the country will make them understand that it is not so. He alleged Modi snatched the Rafale contract from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and helped Anil Ambani to make a profit of Rs 30,000 crore.

"I asked the team framing the Congress manifesto to give something that shakes up the country. I asked them to give me something that I could offer loudly and change the mood of the people," he said in relation to his party's minimum income promise for the poor.

He asserted that irrespective of language, religion, and caste, the Congress party will always protect all Indians.