Nawada (Bihar): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched for communal harmony and brotherhood in the country, saying Hindus and Muslims should work together to fight the common enemy of poverty and ignore 'irresponsible' statements made by politicians, even if he himself makes any.

In his first comments amid communal overtones in the wake of Dadri lynching incident, he invoked President Pranab Mukherjee, saying the countrymen should follow his message given yesterday on preserving the core civilisational values of diversity, tolerance and plurality.

Nation should stay united; ignore irresponsible politicians: Narendra ModiPrime Minister Narendra Modi addressing an election rally in Begusarai on Thursday. Pic/PTI

"I have said it earlier also. Hindus should decide whether to fight Muslims or poverty. Muslims have to decide whether to fight Hindus or poverty....Both need to fight poverty together.... The country has to stay united," Modi said while addressing an election rally here.

"It is the unity, communal harmony, brotherhood and peace that will take the nation forward," he added. Asking people to ignore the "irresponsible" statements made by politicians, he said they are doing so for political interests and it should end.

"Some politicians are making irresponsible statements for political interests... Such statements should end... Do not pay attention to such statements, even if Modi himself makes any such statement," the Prime Minister emphasised.

Referring to the President's remarks made on Wednesday, he said, "there is no bigger guidance, there is no bigger message, no bigger direction."

"Small time politicians are hell bent on making irresponsible statements for their political interests. You should ignore those statements.... If you need to pay heed, it should be to the guidance given by the President," Modi said.

"Yesterday, the President showed the path. Whatever the head of the country of 125 crore people has said, there can be no bigger message, no bigger direction, no bigger inspiration," the Prime Minister said. He said all the countrymen should tread the path shown by the President and "only then can India meet the expectations that the world has from us."

Mukherjee, while addressing a function on Wednesday, had said, "I firmly believe that we cannot allow the core values of our civilisation to be wasted and the core values is what, over the years, the civilisation celebrated diversity, promoted and advocated tolerance, endurance and plurality."

The President had also said, "These core civilisation values have kept us together over centuries. Many ancient civilisations have fallen. But despite aggression after aggression, long foreign rule, India's civilisation has survived because of its core civilisational values and adherence to them. We must keep that in mind. And if we keep those core values in mind, nothing can prevent our democracy from moving on."