Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said Congress leader Sam Pitroda’s “hua to hua [It happened, so what?]” remark on the 1984 anti-Sikh riots reflects the arrogance of the Opposition party. Speaking at an election rally in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh, Modi said, “While they [Congress leaders] were saying ‘hua to hua’, the people of the country were saying, ‘ab bahut hua [enough is enough]’.”

On Thursday, Indian Overseas Congress Chairman Pitroda had said “hua to hua [it happened, so what?]” when a reporter asked him about the violence during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. He apologised the next day, and said his remark was misrepresented and “blown out of proportion”.

In Ratlam, Modi alleged that the Congress has committed several scams but all they have to say is, “hua to hua”. He added that the Gandhi family would give the same reply if asked why Indian Air Force jets were used for their personal trips.

He said the Congress had a problem saying “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, but was happy to abuse him. “You tell me how will this country grow?” Modi asked the crowd. “By ‘Gali bhakti [uttering abuses]’ or ‘Rashtra bhakti’ [worshipping the country]?”

Modi attacked the Congress and called it anti-people. He said the party was only concerned about one family’s benefits. “In their reign, our brave sons could not get to the bulletproof jackets,” he alleged. “Our brave colleagues lost their lives in Naxal attacks.” Modi said it was this casual “hua to hua” approach of the Congress that deprived the poor people of pucca houses, electricity, gas connections and toilets.

Modi alleged that the Kamal Nath-led state government in Madhya Pradesh failed to implement its promised loan waiver scheme. Likening voters to gods, he said, “The Congress cheated god.” Last week, a Congress delegation had gone to former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s house with a list of beneficiaries after he made similar allegations against the state government.

Modi also criticised Congress leader Digvijaya Singh for not voting on Sunday in the sixth phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Bhopal candidate Digvijaya Singh had admitted that he could not go to Rajgarh to cast his vote and expressed regret. “Next time I will register my name in Bhopal,” he had said on Sunday.

This was also a sign of the Congress’ arrogance, Modi said. “I went to Ahmedabad to cast my vote,” he said. “The president and vice president were in queues to cast their vote. But Diggy Raja didn’t care about democracy he was only thinking about himself. He was thinking about his Bhopal seat. This is nothing but a sin and he is setting out a wrong example for first-time voters.”

Ratlam will vote in the seventh phase on May 19.