Congress leader Hardik Patel on Tuesday dared PM Narendra Modi to contest the ongoing LokSabha elections on the promised two crore jobs as it was one of the key promises on which the party came to power in 2014.

Patel’s statement came as a response to Modi’s challenge to the Congress to seek votes in the name of late PM Rajiv Gandhi, whom he had also referred to as “number one corrupt”, in Delhi, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh. The statement made by Modi invited a lot of controversies and backlashes.

Hitting out at Modi for the same, Patel said, “It is not in our tradition to speak ill of the dead.” 

The Patidar leader, who entered Congress in March this year, said he initially thought that Modi had mistakenly used adverse words for Gandhi, but he was proved wrong when PM kept repeating it in subsequent public addresses.

Stating that it was indeed sad to show  Gandhi in a poor light who had revolutionized the country’s communication system, by the current PM. Patel added that when a man had nothing to talk about his tenure, he resorted to propaganda and bad-mouthing others.

On being questioned about his tweet in which he called Gandhi an innocent man who was cheated by friends, Patel said that he stood by his statement, but refused to name those who had ditched the late PM.

Hitting out at the BJP’s Bhopal candidate and Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur, Patel said, “Many people asked me why I did not contest the poll. My reply is that had I been in the BJP, I could have also been in fray like a candidate in Bhopal.” 

When questioned about Thakur’s references on custodial torture, he said that he too wasn’t offered any special treatment over the last few months and that he was slapped with two sedition cases, kept in jail for nine months and had to stay out of Gujarat for six months.