Under attack from the Congress for acting against whistleblower police officers, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Monday hit back at the party and criticised its general secretary Rahul Gandhi's pro-farmer campaign as a "photo-op".
"It was a matter of shame that people still go for photo-ops to the homes of the poor," Modi said, indicating Gandhi but not naming him.
The Congress MP has been touring several states, stopping by at the homes of farmers to share a meal and sometimes even spend the night at their homes.
Modi has come under sharp attack from the Congress for taking disciplinary action against three senior police officers who alleged that the state government had failed to take action in curbing the riots of 2002.
He used the Independence Day function to target those criticising him. "Constitutional bodies are being manipulated to insult Gujarat," he said.
The chief minister lashed out at the central government for adopting "double standards" vis-a-vis social activist Anna Hazare and his team.
"On the one hand those who are crusading against corruption are being asked to go to police and on the other officers in Gujarat who are indulging in indiscipline are sought to be encouraged by the centre," he said.
The chief minister said he would perform the task of "cleaning up" all sectors of public life in his state in a manner that people like Hazare's do not have to go on fast.
He said industrialisation in Gujarat had not come at the cost of agriculture. "It is only in Gujarat that land under agriculture has increased despite increase in industrialisation and yet canards are being spread against the state."
Modi pointed out that while the country's agricultural growth rate was stagnant at around 2-3%, Gujarat's was over 10% as the state government had worked for the wellbeing of farmers.