Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge on Thursday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should read Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s autobiography – The Story of My Experiments with Truth – and “become Gandhian” after the Lok Sabha election result.

Kharge’s remarks came in response to Modi’s statements during an interview with ABP News on Wednesday.

During the interview, the prime minister claimed that nobody knew of Gandhi outside India before a movie about his life was made. The prime minister seemed to have been referring to director Richard Attenborough’s 1982 biographical film Gandhi.

Modi said: “In the last 75 years, was it not our responsibility to let the whole world know of Mahatma Gandhi? I am sorry but nobody knew of him. It was only after the movie Gandhi was made, is when people started getting curious about the personality.”

On Thursday, the final day of campaigning for the seventh and final phase of the general elections, Kharge said: “Narendra Modi has said that he came to know about Mahatma Gandhi after watching the film Gandhi. I laugh at this. Perhaps Narendra Modi has never read about Gandhiji, but the whole world knows Mahatma Gandhi. His statues are present in different places all over the world. If Narendra Modi does not know about Mahatma Gandhi then he would not even know about the Constitution.”

Kharge also pointed out that Gandhi’s autobiography has been taught in schools for several years. “You do not get this knowledge just by sitting at the Vivekananda site or taking a dip in the Ganga,” Kharge said. “You have to read about it.”

Modi plans to go on a two-day meditation trip to the Vivekananda Rock Memorial in Kanyakumari after voting for the Lok Sabha elections concludes.

The Congress president also accused Modi of raking up “divisive issues more than 400 times” while campaigning for the general elections.

“Modi talked about ‘mandir-masjid’ [temple-mosque] and similarly divisive topics more than 421 times while he was campaigning, despite the Election Commission’s direction that votes cannot be solicited on the basis of religion and caste,” said Kharge.

He also pointed out that in the last two weeks alone, Modi had uttered his own name on the campaign trail at least 758 times and mentioned Congress 232 times. “But [Modi] did not talk about unemployment even once,” he said.