Congress linked 'peace-loving' Hindus to terrorism: PM

Slamming the Congress for the 'Hindu terror' metaphor, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday charged the opposition party with insulting "peace-loving" followers of the religion by linking them to terrorism.

The Hindus have now woken up and the country has decided to "punish" the opposition party, Modi said as he launched the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance's Lok Sabha poll campaign in Maharashtra at a public rally here.

The Congress is scared to field its leaders from constituencies where majority dominates in terms of voter- base, Modi said.

He did not name Congress chief Rahul Gandhi who has decided to contest the Lok Sabha election from Wayanad in Kerala.

"The Congress tried to stain crores of the country's people using the term Hindu terror. Tell me, weren't you deeply hurt when you heard the term 'Hindu terror'? Is there a single incident in the history of thousands of years of Hindus engaging in terrorism?" Modi said.

He also asked the people whether they would forgive the Congress for committing the "sin" of linking peace- loving Hindus to terrorism.

The prime minister said the Congress was very well aware now that the country has decided to "punish" it.

"Some leaders are shying away from contesting polls (in the first place). Those, whom it (Congress) called terrorist, have woken up," Modi said.

"They linked peace-loving Hindus to terrorism... they are scared now to contest election from constituency where majority population dominates...they are forced to go where majority (Hindus) are in minority," he added.