Accusing the Centre of lying to the people, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday took on Narendra Modi, saying the “truth will send the prime minister to jail”.

Gandhi addressed his first public rally to launch the United Progressive Alliance’s poll campaign in Tamil Nadu. The Congress and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam have joined hands to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Congress will contest from 9 of the 39 seats in Tamil Nadu, and the lone Puducherry seat.

Gandhi, at the rally in Nagercoil, repeated his allegations against the prime minister in the Rafale jet deal. He accused the Narendra Modi government of favouring businessman Anil Ambani’s company for the defence deal over state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

“The great Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar said ‘Unmai Vellum’, meaning the truth will set you free,” Gandhi said. “But this does not work for Narendra Modi, because the truth will put him in jail.”

Gandhi also attacked the alliance between All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu, alleging that the state government was now controlled by the Prime Minister’s Office. “Never was a government in Tamil Nadu controlled from Delhi,” he said.

Modi felt he could captured any Indian institution and control any state by blackmail, Gandhi alleged.

The prime minister gave the country demonetisation and flawed GST, he said, adding that his government will reform the Goods and Service Tax. “The shopkeepers of Tamil Nadu will not have to suffer because of this nonsense GST,” he said.

He also reiterated his promise of guaranteed minimum income. If anyone is found to be below the minimum income line, the government will credit money into their account. “We are going to put special provisions in our manifesto for young entrepreneurs who want to start a business,” he said.

Gandhi also said there will be a dedicated ministry for fisheries in Delhi. “To honour the fishermen, we will make a separate ministry for fisheries department,” he said.

‘Rahul Gandhi will be next PM’: MK Stalin

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief MK Stalin claimed Gandhi will assume the top office within a few weeks. At the rally in Nagercoil, Stalin claimed that the “country will be safe” in Gandhi’s hands.

“Power is going to come to you soon, it will be for the poor, it should be for the common man and we are fully confident, we are supporting you because you are Rahul Gandhi and not Narendra Modi,” Stalin said.

Gandhi too claimed Stalin will be the next chief minister of Tamil Nadu.