Bengaluru, May 10: Congress president Rahul Gandhi said today Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw a "threat" in him, and the attack by him over his prime ministerial ambition was only aimed at "distracting attention".
Gandhi also hit out at Modi for raking up the issue of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin, saying "my mother is Italian" but she was "more Indian" than many Indians.
"This election is not about Rahul. I have now learnt to deal with the prime minister. When he can't respond, he distracts," Gandhi told reporters responding to questions about Modi's repeated attacks on him over his prime ministerial ambition.
Training his guns on Gandhi after he publicly declared his prime ministerial ambition at an interaction here, Modi had wondered whether the country will ever accept such an"immature and naamdar (dynast)" leader for the post. Hitting out at Modi for his reference to Sonia's foreign origin, Gandhi said,"My mother is an Italian. She has lived the larger part of her life in India. She is more Indian than many, many Indians I have seen.
"She has sacrificed her life for the country, she has suffered for the country. When Modi makes such comments, it shows the quality of the man. I am happy if he enjoys makingsuch comments, he is welcome," he said.
The issue of Sonia Gandhi's foreign origin was raked up by Modi at an election rally recently where he dared the Congress chief to speak for 15 minutes about the achievements of the Karnataka government in any language, including his"mother's mother tongue".
The Congress president, who wrapped up his extensive campaign tour of Karnataka with a press conference, referred to a story about Gautam Buddha to claim the prime minister had "anger" for everybody.
He said once Buddha was abused and shouted at by an angry man while he was seated with a disciple.
When the disciple asked Buddha why did he not retaliate, he said the anger belonged to that man, and that since he did not accept the abuse, it went back to that person.