"Narendra Modi wants to become a PM. Someone rising from a tea shop can never have a national perspective. Like, if you make a 'sipahi' (constable) as 'kaptan' (Superintendent of Police) he can never have SP's approach but will have that of a constable," Agarwal said in comments that could stoke a controversy.

Addressing a gathering Hardoi, Agarwal also said the prime minister of a country has to be an able person of national stature. "As far as crowd is concerned, a 'madari' (street performer) also gathers it," he said taking a swipe at BJP. Agarwal, who launched a scathing attack on Modi, has also previously targeted the BJP leader with some controversial comments.

At his rallies, Modi often refers to his own socio-economic background and humble origins while targeting the Gandhi-Nehru family, saying people who are ruling at the Centre "don't know what poverty is all about, but I know it."

"I was born in a poor family, and have seen and lived in poverty. I have sold tea at the railway station and in running trains, those selling tea in trains know more about railways than the minister," the Gujarat Chief Minister said at a recent rally in Patna.

When he was six years old, Modi helped his father sell tea to passengers whenever an odd train came into the small Vadnagar station in Gujarat, according to a  book titled "The anatomy of Narendra Modi, the man and his politics" authored by Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay.

Agarwal in October 2013 also courted controversy after he compared BJP to a 'widow' and had said that Modi's thoughts were like a CM and not a PM. "There is a saying in my village that if you ask a widow's blessings, she will ask you to become like her. The BJP too is asking everyone to become like them. Modi's thoughts are limited as he is a CM of small state," Agarwal had said. The BJP had slammed Agarwal for these comments calling it highly derogatory.

Agarwal said that Modi used to compare prices of potato and power of Gujarat with other states. The SP leader said that he wanted to ask him (Modi) about his stand on China, Pakistan and terrorism after becoming Prime minister. “You (Modi) are not contesting elections of village head or legislator, you are prime ministerial candidate (of BJP) and should speak out your stand on national issues," Agarwal said.

Agarwal also attacked the Centre for its "soft stand" on terrorism and international issues and "failure to check economic crisis".

He blamed first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru for not adopting any language of the country. "Those who know Hindi speak in English in Parliament. It was Nehru's fault that he did not adopt a language for the country. Had he did so, the problem of North-South might not have been witnessed," he added.

(Agencies)

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