Rahul Gandhi, the Congress party vice president and scion of India's Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, has said that the front-runner in prime ministerial race, Narendra Modi, was fooling people of the country.

Launching a direct attack on the prime ministerial candidate of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Gandhi said he was misleading people.

“The Nano car that you have seen, for every Nano car, the government of Gujarat gives nearly $662.82 (rupees 40,000) to Tatas (makers), no one can make a fool of Bihar, you all are very smart. Modiji, stop making fool of India. In Bihar, only Bihar model will work, the people of Bihar will run Bihar," said Gandhi during an election rally in Kishanganj district of eastern Bihar province.

The election has turned into a face-off between Rahul Gandhi, best known for his famous last name, and Modi, who has been lauded by Indian corporate leaders and foreign companies for his business-friendly policies and his industrial policy in the western Gujarat state.

Murky sale

Gandhi also ridiculed Modi for selling land at paltry amounts in the western state.

"In Gujarat, he (Narendra Modi) gifted 45,000 acres of land at a paltry amount of rupee one per metre to a person, told him to take it, eat the toffee and enjoy yourself," he said.

Gandhi accused Modi of selling land to infrastructure-builder Adani at nearly $0.016 (rupee one) per metre in Gujarat - the price of a toffee these days.

Rahul Gandhi faces an uphill battle to keep the Congress party in power in an election where his main rival the Hindu nationalist Modi seems to be riding a popularity wave fuelled by voters' disenchantment with rampant corruption and a slowing economy.

Voting in the world's most populous democracy, where about 815 million people are expected to cast their votes, is phased over several weeks, ending on May 12. Results are due to be announced on May 16.

Source: Agencies