Narendra Modi today vowed to cleanse the political system and Parliament from criminal elements if he comes to power and said his first job will be to set up a panel to probe pending criminal cases against the new MPs.
The BJP Prime Ministerial candidate said he will ensure that all offenders are sent to jail after asking the Supreme Court to hear the cases against them expeditiously.
Modi's promise to crack down on MPs with criminal antecedents across party lines in a bid to decriminalise politics and Parliament came at a poll rally here.
"I have decided that when a new government is formed after May 16, I will set up a committee to find out what cases are pending against whom. (Lok Sabha) candidates submit in their form during filing nominations the details of cases against them. I will not discriminate in it. I will not spare even the BJP and NDA candidates.
"I will ask the Supreme Court to hear the cases fast. Those who have committed crime will go to jail and their seats will go to candidates with clean image. No accused will dare to fight polls. Who says that this cleansing cannot happen? I have come to cleanse politics. It is necessary to free Indian democracy from criminalisation," he said.
Modi also stepped up his attack on SP, BSP and Congress, saying the "power game by the clan of three parties" is responsible for the poor plight of UP and the nation even as he ridiculed Rahul Gandhi for visiting homes of the poor like tourists who visit Taj Mahal.
Playing up his tea-vendor image, the Gujarat Chief Minister also sought to contrast it with those "born with a silver spoon in their mouth" and made an oblique reference to his OBC origin as he reached out to voters in the Hindi heartland.
"While the country has been destroyed by the governments of mother and son, Uttar Pradesh has been destroyed by a father-son government. On one hand there is a father-son duo while on the other hand is Behenji (Mayawati). They waste their whole tenure of five years in teaching a lesson to each other.
"And mother and son (Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi) simply add fuel to the fire, inflame it. This clan of SP, BSP and Congress is thriving here in this manner. Enough of this game of power has continued. Now give me a chance to serve you," Modi said.
Targeting both Congress and SP for practising dynastic politics and nepotism, Modi was quite acerbic in his criticism of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra.
"For them all that matters is dynasty and nepotism. And now even even the extended family is being covered. They are those, who are not ready to recognize the power of the community beyond their family members.
"These people, who think that that only their sons and daughters will do something and are concerned only with them or their uncle-aunt and insulting the future of Uttar Pradesh," he said.
Mocking Rahul over his visits to the homes of the poor and Dalits, Modi said that he goes to the poor to understand how does a poor person look as he has not seen poverty like someone, who has not seen Taj Mahal visits Agra to see it.
"In the same fashion, Rahul Bhaiya visits here to see the poor. These people who are born with a silver spoon in their mouth want to see poverty. They wonder whether the poor have two legs, two hands, does the poor also have a voice. These people go on poverty tourism," he said.
Alleging that poverty is a "tourist destination" for Gandhi, Modi said, "Whenever he goes for this, he is accompanied by a crew of television cameras. He picks up a child in his lap for a good snap and immediately after the photo session is over, the child is put back on the ground."
Seeking to contrast it with his own "poor" childhood, the BJP's PM pick made an attempt to hardsell his tea-vendor image, saying, "I am born in poverty. I know how it feels during a cold winter night. I remember people used to slap me on my face, whenever the tea served by me used to be cold. The scars still remain."
Hitting out at those who "mock" his childhood and poverty, the Gujarat Chief Minister said, "I have no regrets that I was born in a poor or backward family. I feel sad when leaders of SP, BSP and Congress make mockery of it and say whether a tea vendor can run the country. This shows the mentality of these leaders. They have become so haughty that they mock poverty. This does not concern Modi.
"What is under question is the mentality of these leaders, who mock my poverty, my childhood every now and then. They should hear it out. I have sold tea and am proud of it. I have not done anything like selling the nation."