Narendra Modi today hit back at Sonia Gandhi over her 'zeher ki kheti' barb, saying it is the Congress which sows and spews poison and reaps the harvest from it by its divisive politics.
Modi accused the Congress of putting one religion against another, one caste against another and one state against another.
"Sonia Gandhi has told Rahul that power is poison. Who has been in power for most of the time during the last 60 years?.. In whose stomach has this poison gone? Who is spewing this poison? Who is harvesting the poison? They (Congress) are the ones who sow the seeds of poison," the BJP prime ministerial candidate said at a rally here.
He said the country is seeking answers from Congress to its issues but its replies are wayward. "People are asking Sonia Gandhi why farmers are committing suicide, her reply is people are sowing seeds of poison."
Modi's counter-attack came a day after Sonia Gandhi at a rally in Karnataka accused Modi and BJP of indulging in divisive politics by "sowing seeds of poison" (zeher ki kheti) and instigating violence in their "hunger" for power.
In his 50-minute speech, Modi attacked the Congress, ruling Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and the AAP government in Delhi and sought a mandate in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections by projecting himself as 'chowkidar' who will guard public funds.
The Gujarat Chief Minister said that he had made his state free of riots and would make UP also riot-free if his government is voted to power.
Accusing Congress of driving a wedge between states and communities, Modi referred to the Telangana issue and said that the entire Andhra Pradesh is engulfed in the fire started by the manner in which the Congress had handled the issue.
"It is because they are following a police of divide and rule. You keep sowing seeds of poison and destroying the country."
Taking on AAP, which is being seen as a potential spoiler for BJP in Lok Sabha election, Modi said the recent "humiliation" of an African woman by its government in Delhi brought "disgrace" to India globally.
Citing the recent murder of an Arunachal Pradesh student "under the nose of Sonia Gandhi" and the reported beating of a Manipur girl in the capital, Modi said such incidents have dented the image of Delhi and India. Delhi should be seen as a global city, he said.
Referring to the recent incidents in Delhi, Modi