In a sharp reaction to finance minister P Chidambaram's statement that Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is a divisive figure, BJP today said such leaders are suffering from "Modi-phobia" and a psycho-analysis test should be performed on them.
"Chidambaram and several other Congress leaders suffer from Modi-phobia. There is a need for a psycho-analysis test of such leaders," BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi told reporters when asked about her reaction to the finance minister's remarks.
Dubbing Narendra Modi as a "very divisive figure", Chidambaram today said the BJP has "not changed its spots" and people will reject the party in the next Lok Sabha elections as it represents an idea which is against secularism and inclusiveness.
"We think Mr Modi is a very divisive figure, which is why there is a lot of rebellion within his party. For the first time I have seen there is a rebellion starting at the very top," Chidambaram told PTI.
He accused the BJP of raking up divisive issues like Uniform Civil Code, Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370 and people will reflect upon all these issues while voting.
Lekhi said the Congress leaders are using such language due to "failures" of UPA government as seen in "lack of governance" which the people are now well aware of.
She expressed her ire over the frequent targeting of Modi by Congress leaders. "The UPA government is responsible for malgovernance and corruption", the BJP leader charged.
"Those using such language about Modi have scored century after century in corruption and their innings is still not over," Lekhi said. Earlier, Chidambaram had told PTI that Modi is a divisive figure and there is a "lot of rebellion" within his party, starting from the top. He was apparently referring to the resignation by L K Advani over the elevation of Modi as BJP's Election Campaign Committee Chief.
In another incident, hours after Bihar chief minister targeted his Gujarat chief counterpart over his claims that he rescued 15,000 Gujaratis from flood ravaged Uttarakhand, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh today poked fun at Narendra Modi, saying he is rightly called a 'feku'.
"There is news item on the front page of a daily that within two days he has evacuated 15,000 pilgrims, while the fact is the Gujarat website says that the figure was about 600. Again there was a news item that he has offered 28 helicopters which again was denied by the official statement of the Gujarat Government. So, therefore he is rightly called a 'feku'," he told the media here.
Meanwhile, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who was interacting with the media in Patna, earlier in the day lashed out at Modi, whose recent promotion as BJP' poll campaign chief, prompted the end of a 17-year alliance.
"I am not Rambo - and rush to rescue Biharis from Uttarakhand," he said.
Modi had last month visited the flood-ravaged state of Uttarakhand, where thousands have lost their lives following the natural calamity. A newspaper report then said that Modi rescued 15,000 Gujaratis in a 'Rambo act'.
With in puts from ANI and PTI