Ignoring Congress' tough talk on his repeatedly calling Rahul Gandhi as 'shehzada' (prince), Narendra Modi on Sunday said he would refrain from this if his party promised to do away with 'dynastic rule'.
"Congress ke mitra bahut pareshan hai ki Modi shehzada kyon keh rahe hain ... unhe nind nahin aati hai (the Congress leaders are distressed for Rahul being referred to as shehzada. They are unable to sleep well)," Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, said.
"Lekin main phuchhta hun ki shehzada kehne ki naubat kyun aai (I want to know as to why I have been compelled to refer him as shehzada?" he told BJP's mega 'hunkar(battle cry) rally' at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna, his first public meeting in over three years in Bihar.
He said the people felt bad about dynastic rule as much as the Congress was feeling offended about the 'shehzada' reference being made to its leader.
Modi said he would stop calling the Rahul 'shehzada' if the Congress promised to do away with dynastic rule.
"I will stop calling shehzade if the Congress promises to do way with dynastic politics," Modi said.
Taking strong exception to Modi's description of Rahul as "shehzada", Congress on Saturday did some tough talking as it threatened that its workers were capable of stopping such "undignified" language in two days but were restrained due to respect for laws and the Model Code.
The ruling party said its vice-president should be addressed in the same manner in which he addresses people with respect as use of words like "Shehzada" will not be tolerated.
Modi did not attack Rahul on Sunday and directed all his energies to tear apart his bete noire Nitish Kumar instead.
Rahul, while addressing a public meeting in poll-bound Delhi, also did not attack Modi and instead chose to hardsell development initiated by its Sheila Dikshit-led government.
The two leaders had stepped up their attacks against each other in the recent past, with Modi taking repeated jibes at Gandhi and the Congress vice-president attacking him and his party for doing "politics of hatred".