The Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday claimed that Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for attributing his “chowkidar chor hai” slogan against Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the court shows the Opposition party’s “political bankruptcy”, PTI reported.

“Rahul Gandhi had to apologise to the Supreme Court for attributing lies to the Supreme Court,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said at a press conference. “Congress is a habitual liar. This is political bankruptcy. This is desperation.”

Javadekar also claimed that the Congress and Opposition parties have hurled 52 abuses at the prime minister so far, and that the more they do so, the more seats the BJP will win in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.

“They are doing this out of sheer desperation and hatred for their leader because they understand that in front of Modi, they stand no chance to win public confidence,” the BJP leader alleged. “They are hurling casteist abuses. This is Congress culture. It is happening because we are discussing scams.”

Attacking the Congress for its criticism of Modi’s remarks on former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Javadekar said Gandhi justified the 1984 anti-Sikh violence, played politics in the Shah Bano case and allowed Ottavio Quattrochhi, an Italian businessman who was an accused in the Bofors scam, to leave the country.

Modi had claimed at a rally on May 4 that though Congress leaders considered Rajiv Gandhi “Mr Clean”, he had died as “corrupt No 1”, alluding to allegations of his involvement in the Bofors scam.

“Wikileaks has also mentioned Rajiv Gandhi as the main negotiator in a fighter aircraft deal,” Javadekar said. “This is what is happening on the ground.”

The fifth phase of polling in the seven phase Lok Sabha elections ended on May 6. The results for all phases will be announced on May 23.