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 said what had happened in the capital of late was not good.
"The kind of incidents which are happening, the kind of language being used... India's head has lowered in shame.
"Some days back a woman from Africa was insulted," he said referring to the alleged raid by Delhi's Law Minister Somnath Bharti at her residence.
Taking on AAP, which is being seen as a potential spoiler for BJP in Lok Sabha election, Modi said the recent "humiliation" of the 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.
"In Delhi, one son of Arunachal was killed under your nose Sonia ji. It is a serious matter. I want to tell people in Delhi and country that you should be proud of people from Arunachal who have stood up to China... They greet each other saying 'jai hind'.
"We should see Delhi as a global city," he said.
Delhi should be seen as a global city, Modi said, adding that big cities should have hostels for students from the northeast states.
Modi also used Rahul Gandhi's comments-- that his mother had told him that "power was poison"-- to target the Congress president.
In his speech, Modi also accused Congress of deliberately not doing enough to mark the 150th anniversary of India's first war of Independence-- 1857-- which had been sparked off from Meerut.
He claimed that Congress wanted to propagate a narrative as per which only the party made sacrifices during the freedom struggle and the role of others is ignored.
Taking on Samajwadi Party, whom he called 'Samaj virodhi' (anti-people) party, Modi said law and order had deteriorated during its regime. He said that the graph of crime against women had risen in the last one year.
"Women are scared of leaving homes. Mulayam Singh ji, Akhilesh ji leave politics aside and atleast ensure that the women can live with honour," he said.
Modi said that every week there is some riot or another in Meerut. He said around ten years back, Gujarat also experienced a similar situation.
"People of the state decided to live in peace and harmony and get rid of vote-bank politics. Because of this Gujarat is riot free and developing," he said and claimed BJP could make UP riot-free.
Modi said that SP should compete with him on development issues like law and order, welfare and farmers instead of comparing in holding rallies.
"Mulayam Singh Yadav had said that his government's public welfare budget is more than Gujarat's. Where these funds went?" Modi asked.
Referring to RLD leader Ajit Singh who belongs to Western UP, Modi said despite the fact that he is Civil Aviation minister from the area, it is not getting an Airport.