The BJP on Tuesday hit back at Shiv Sena for its remarks against the Prime Minister, saying its former alliance partner seems to be suffering from "Modi phobia" and also sought to know why it was not attacking NCP and Congress during campaign for the Maharashtra assembly polls.
In a virulent attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray had on Monday compared the poll campaign by the BJP star speaker and other central party leaders in Maharashtra to the assault by Bijapur general Afzal Khan's army on Shivaji's dominion in the 17th century.
The Sena had also questioned the need for Modi and his cabinet colleagues to address election meetings in the state.
"We had been all along thinking that political parties will be laying down their agenda for the future of Maharashtra and will be discussing water, electricity, development and toll issues.
"But they (the Shiv Sena) have left all that aside and are concentrating on targeting Modi. This is because they are suffering from Modi phobia," BJP leader and Union minister Prakash Javadekar said while speaking to reporters in Mumbai.
"They (Shiv Sena) have been asking us why does Modi need to conduct so many rallies in the State. It amounts to questioning the need of Sachin Tendulkar to make runs on the field. If Modiji is our campaigner, then he will do as many rallies as he wishes. How is it anybody's concern?"
Accusing his former ally of playing partisan politics, the information & broadcasting minister said it is interesting to watch the Sena leaders not attacking Congress or NCP.
"We have been observing that all they (Sena leaders) do is target BJP and PM. There are no comments made on the corrupt Congress and NCP. In fact, they have started copying NCP's speeches. This is a very interesting development."
He said the Sena's relentless criticism of BJP shows it has lost the elections even before the first vote has been cast. "We want them to talk about development of Maharashtra instead of abusing and criticising us. If they wish, they can keep criticising us, but we will not retaliate."