Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said it is “ironical and reprehensible” that parties that claim to be followers of socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia are desperate to form an “opportunistic maha milawat [adulteration]” alliance with the Congress. “Anti-Congressism” was Lohia’s heart and soul, Modi said in a blog post to mark the ideologue’s 109th birth anniversary.

Modi has often described the proposed grand alliance, or mahagathbandhan, of Opposition parties to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as “maha milawat”.

Modi said Lohia knew how disastrous the Congress was. Today, he would be “horrified” at the political developments, Modi said. “Dr Lohia always believed that dynastic politics was inimical to democracy,” Modi said. “He would have been flabbergasted to see his ‘followers’ think about their own families first instead of the nation.”

Modi also invoked Lohia’s call for “complete equality between men and women”, and said parties “neck deep in vote bank politics” had opposed the government’s move to abolish triple talaq. The prime minister said that such parties had “completely abandoned Lohia’s principles” and are leaving “no opportunity to insult him”.

Modi said: “Today, a moot question facing 130 crore Indians is: How can those who betrayed Dr. Lohia be expected to serve the nation? Today they are betraying the principles of Dr. Lohia, tomorrow they will also betray the people of India.”