Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Sunday responded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s jibe at the Opposition rally in Kolkata and said the cries for help he had mentioned were of commoners “begging to be freed” from the NDA government.

Modi, while criticising the rally organised by Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata, said the Bharatiya Janata Party had only one legislator in West Bengal, but the Opposition was still afraid. “...because we follow the path of truth, they have gathered parties from across the country and are crying bachao, bachao, bachao [save us],” Modi had said.

Modi also termed the mahagathbandhan an “alliance of the rich, an alliance of uncle and nephew, an alliance of the corrupt, of scams, of negativity, of instability, of inequality”.

Gandhi hit back at Modi on Sunday. “Your Highness, the cries for help are the cries of millions of unemployed youth; of farmers in distress; of oppressed Dalits [and] Adivasis; of persecuted minorities; of small businessmen in ruin; begging to be freed from your tyranny [and] incompetence,” he tweeted. “In 100 days they will be free.”

The United India rally on Saturday had several major leaders in attendance including Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin and Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son Tejashwi Yadav.

Banerjee, who led the rally, said the Narendra Modi government’s expiry date was up. The rally was seen as an effort to unite the Opposition against the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.