Hours after Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate accused Arvind Kejriwal of helping Pakistan and called him "AK 49", the Aam Aadmi Party leader on Wednesday said the Gujarat chief minister avoids debates on controversial issues.
This was Modi's first ever direct attack on Kejriwal and came a day after the AAP leader said he will contest the general elections from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh. The "AK 49" was a reference to Kejriwal's stint as the Delhi's chief minister for 49 days.
"There are three AKs in Pakistan who are being admired. AK 47, AK Antony and AK49. This third one, AK 49, has just launched a political party," Modi said addressing a gathering of BJP supporters at Hiranagar, close to the India-Pakistan International Border, in Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha constituency.
"This AK 49 on his website shows Kashmir as a part of Pakistan. His close aide wants a referendum on Kashmir and Pakistan is jumping with joy," Modi said.
Kejriwal, in turn registered, his response on Twitter.
"Did Modi ji call me an agent of Pakistan and AK 49? Kya PM ke daawedar ko ye bhasha use karna shobha deta hai? (Does it behoove of the PM candidate of using such language?)" Kejriwal tweeted.
He accused Modi of skirting issues, backing corrupt politicians and fielding scam tainted candidates in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
"Modi ji muddon ki baat kyon nahi karte? Muddon ki rajniti kyon nahi karte? Why does he consistently avoid all invites for open debates?" he asked.
Kejriwal questioned Modi about his silence on the issue of gas prices and his "false claims" of Gujarat development. He also said the BJP PM pick refuses to talk about farmer suicides in his state.
"He refuses to respond on his compulsions to keep corrupt people like Babubhai Bokharia and Purshottam Solanki in his cabinet. Why?"
"He refuses to respond on his compulsions to give tkts to muzaffarnagar riot accused. Why?"
"He refuses to respond on his compulsions to give tkts to corrupt people like Yeddyurappa, Sriramlu and Ramvilas Paswan. Why?"
Earlier in the day, the Gujarat government issued a point by point rebuttal of AAP chief's allegations made in Varanasi on Tuesday, accusing Modi of exaggerating reports of development in his state.