On a day the Samajwadi Party fielded dismissed BSF constable Tej Bahadur Yadav from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu accused him of raising "nationalism" pitch to deflect people's attention from real issues.
Addressing a public meeting here in Madhya Pradesh, Sidhu said Modi, "who is seeking votes in the name of armed forces", will now face a "fauzi" in the constituency.
"The BJP was seeking votes in the name of Modi and Modi in turn is asking for ballots in the name of Fauz..Now a Fauzi in Varanasi is seeking votes against Modi," the Punjab minister said, adding that people have now understood Modi and his acts.
"...People know that you are diverting their attention from real issues," the former BJP leader said.
Accusing the prime minister of trying to "polarise" the country during the poll season, Sidhu said the BJP and Modi are set to lose.
"Modi is trying to deflect the attention of people from the ill-effects of demonetisation on the economy of the country and resultant unemployment. That is why he is raising nationalism," Sidhu said.
He also alleged that an industrialist received benefit of Rs 30,000 crore in the Rafale jet deal due to Modi.
In 2014 elections, Modi had won Varanasi by polling 56% votes.
While Modi was polled 5,81,023 votes, his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of AAP bagged 2,02,238 votes.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)