Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday scoffed at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s impending elevation as the party’s president, saying he wanted to congratulate the party on its “Aurangzeb raj”.

The rule of Aurangzeb, the sixth Mughal emperor, marked the slow decline of the empire.

“For us [the Bharatiya Janata Party], the well-being of the people matters, and 125 crore Indians are our high command,” Modi said at an election rally in the city of Dharampur in Gujarat’s Valsad district.

The prime minister asked the Congress whether it accepted that it was a family party and said the country did not want this “Aurangzeb rule”.

Criticising the Congress for spreading misinformation about the BJP, Modi said the electorate in Gujarat was now aware of this. “Why has the Congress stopped saying BJP is anti-Muslim?” he asked. “Earlier, they would go out of the way to show their secularism, but now, we can all see what they are doing this election, and where they are going. Unfortunately for them, Muslims know their real nature.”

Modi also said that successive Congress governments in Gujarat had ignored the adivasi communities. But when the BJP came to power, it built quality infrastructure, including roads, education and healthcare in adivasi-dominated areas.

The prime minister also accused the Opposition party of stalling a bill in the Rajya Sabha that would have granted constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes. “This anti-OBC Congress should be severely punished by the people,” he said.

The government is planning to reintroduce a bill in the Lok Sabha this Winter Session that will give the panel the powers to safeguard the rights and interests of Other Backward Classes.

The prime minister said in Junagadh that while the Congress ignored the region, the BJP worked hard to make it the tourism capital of Gujarat. “For the Congress, ‘work’ was giving people a hand pump,” Modi said. “They never envisioned something like a Saurashtra-Narmada Avataran Yojana.”