Industrialists Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani must no longer be surprised when their names are invoked by politicians during election campaigns. Often they are cited as examples of the corporate-politician nexus-camaraderie and their purported closeness to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, it must have come as a shock to them, or at least their publicity department when on Wednesday PM Modi said if the Congress had "struck a deal with Ambani-Adani". Modi was speaking at an election rally in Vemulawada, Telangana.

Modi said that “since elections have been announced, these people (Congress) have stopped abusing Ambani-Adani. I want to ask from Telangana soil, let the Shehzada tell how much money has been taken from Ambani-Adani. Has tempo loads of notes (currency) reached the Congress? What deal has been arrived at, that abusing Ambani-Adani has stopped overnight?"

‘Shehzada’ is how he likes to ‘Muslimise’ his reference to Rahul Gandhi without naming him.

This was the PM’s latest attempt to counter the allegations made by the Opposition parties that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has favoured the top two corporate leaders, who incidentally also hail from Gujarat like the PM and Home Minister.

Now, to the surprise of his audience, the PM claimed that the Congress had suddenly stopped raising the “Adani-Ambani” allegations. “It means you have received some tempo loads of 'chori ka maal' (loot). You have to answer the nation," Modi said.

On May 8, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi reacted swiftly and released a video message daring the PM to back his allegations with an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED). “Modi ji, are you a little scared? Normally you talk about Adani and Ambani in closed doors, but for the first time you have talked about Adani and Ambani in public.

“You also know that they give money in a tempo. Is it your personal experience? The country knows who is the driver and helper of the BJP’s tempo of corruption,” Gandhi said.

Gandhi added that the Congress will give the same amount of money” which he alleged that Modi has given to the two businessmen”, to the people of India.

Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge had earlier said that the PM was “attacking his own friends" as “this shows that Modi ji's chair is shaking. This is the real trend of the result," Kharge posted on X.

Congress leader, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said her brother, Rahul, has been raising the “Adani-Ambani issue every day”. She said, “every day we tell you that they (BJP) have a nexus with big industrialists. They waived off Rs 16 lakh crores of his friends. In UP, farmers are committing suicide but their loans were not waived off.

However while the latest statement from the PM has generated much chatter the real concern remains his anti-Muslim speeches. According to a report in ‘The NewsMinute’ the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee (TNCC), has moved the Madras High Court seeking to direct the Election Commission of India (ECI) to issue notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi “seeking an explanation on the hate speeches he made during the election campaign”.

The report stated that this “petition was filed on Wednesday, May 8, by TNCC president K Selvaperunthagai, and accuses PM Modi of “trying to create havoc and hatred among citizens.” The petition cites three speeches by PM Modi, where he made hate comments against Muslims.

These include: The election rally in Rajasthan’s Banswara on April 21. Here Modi had claimed that if voted to power, Congress would give the country’s wealth among “infiltrators” and “those who have more children”. Clearly, the PM was referring to the Muslim community here, noted observers.

On May 1 Modi claimed that the Congress will impose “inheritance tax”. On May 2 he claimed that Muslims had been asked to indulge in “Vote Jihad.” These speeches were made on his home turf of Gujarat.

On Tuesday May 7 while peaking at an election rally in Dhar, Madhya Pradesh’s, Modi made yet another claim that the Congress will make religion-based reservations even in sports and that according to Modi meant that “it will now decide who will be in and out of the cricket team on the basis of religion.”

He then invoked the 1947 Partition in an attempt to buffer his allegations that Congress was “pro-Muslims” while batting with the cricket analogy. "I wanted to ask the Congress, if it wanted to do so, why it divided the country into three parts after 1947. The entire country would have been made Pakistan and India would have been erased," Modi said while attacking what he called “fake secularism”.

He added that the “400-seat” mandate he is seeking can ensure that “the Congress does not bring back Article 370 in Kashmir and put a "Babri lock" on the Ram temple in Ayodhya.”

Modi told his audience in Khargone, that, “India is at a crucial juncture in history. You have to decide whether there will be ‘vote jihad’ in India or ‘Ram Rajya’...

“In Pakistan, terrorists are threatening jihad against India, and here the Congress people have also declared to do ‘vote jihad’ against Modi, asking people of a particular religion to unite and vote against Modi. Think about the level to which the Congress has stooped due to disappointment and despair. Is ‘vote jihad’ acceptable to you? Can this be allowed in a democracy? Does the Constitution of India permit this kind of jihad?” Modi was quoted by Indian Express and others.

Modi’s team too have been amplifying such claims, senior leader and minister Arjun Ram Meghwal posted that “Congress party wants to put a lock on the Ram Temple… it will reverse the Supreme Court ruling”.

Meanwhile, PM Modi added another element to his speeches and claimed that the candidature of Droupadi Murmu as President in 2022, was opposed by Congress “because she was dark-skinned”

According to a report in the ‘South First’, the PM was addressing an election rally in Warangal in Telangana on Wednesday, May 8, and said “Now I understand, after seeing the statement of Shahazada (Rahul Gandhi)’s uncle, guide and philosopher (Sam Pitroda) who lives in the US. He had said South Indians are black-skinned and look like Africans. It was the reason why the Congress had considered her an African because of her skin colour and opposed her.”

Congress leader Sam Pitroda had not made any reference to President Murmu when he in an interview on diversity and democracy in India, had said that Indians from different parts of the country resembled “Chinese, Arabs, Whites and Africans”. This statement was also pounced on by the right wing forces, and amplified by the PM.

PM Modi has also continued telling people how “some people are eating ‘machli mutton’ (fish and goat meat) during the Savan month,” when some Hindus abstain from eating non vegetarian dishes. This jibe has been directed at Lalu Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav, for over a month, since they shared videos of relishing local delicacies.

The vegetarian PM had instantly found food for electoral thought here and linked the non vegetarian feasting to “mughal Mentality” claiming that it was to “provoke / tease the people of India”.

He has also decided to “urge” the Muslim community to “introspect and think about the future of their children” Modi claimed in a friendly conversation with Times Now that he was “neither against Muslims nor Islam.” He then shared the clips, where said “For the first time, I am asking the Muslim community to introspect. If you keep thinking about who to put in power and who to remove, you will only ruin the future of your children”.