Party workers dubbed it the BJP's Ugadi festival gift to the people of Bijapur, the city of tombs, minarets and Gol Gumbaz. Narendra Modi's rally here on Sunday was by far the biggest event in recent times in this district better known for farm suicides and multi-millionaire sugar and liquor barons.
As the crowd swelled, Modi targeted Rahul Gandhi through his former prime minister father.
"The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has rated Gujarat as the number one state in India. The shehzada need not believe me. Does he believe in his own mother?" he asked, referring to Rahul Gandhi's description of the Gujarat development model as a balloon.
He then sought to touch a raw nerve - the farm crisis. "Sugarcane farmers are not getting their due. Sugar factories are shutting down. More farmers have died in India than soldiers," he said.
He also said that the country was witnessing a "historic development" where political parties of all hues were conspiring to keep him away from the prime minister's chair.
At Nanded in Maharashtra, Modi called the Congress shameless for nominating the Adarsh scam-tainted former chief minister Ashok Chavan from the Nanded seat. "Sonia Gandhi says no law stops Chavan for contesting the elections. Rahul Gandhi says that investigation will take place. Was handing out a ticket your way of conducting an investigation?" he asked.
He mocked Chavan as the 'adarsh' (ideal) candidate for Congress.