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The vicious, and often personal, wars-of-word between political rivals acquired a new dimension on Sunday with BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi comparing Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with stand-up comedian who could force TV star Kapil Sharma to "shut shop".
Modi addressed rallies at Jhansi, Hamirpur, Banda and Fatehpur – which go to the polls on April 30 – and unleashed his sharpest attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
Modi snorted, guffawed, sometimes gave full-hearted laugh, in picking up flaws in Gandhi's recent speeches. "He told people there 27,000 crore job vacancies unfilled in Gujarat. Two of one kid are malnourished in my state," Modi said.
Rahul had said on Saturday that Modi would have been in jail had Lokayukta and RTI commissioners been in place in Gujarat. Modi said Gujarat has a Lokayukta who indicted a former Congress chief minister for robbing the state of natural resources.
"Rahul Baba stop lying or your speech writers will ruin you," Modi said adding, "I feel the TV serial of comedian Kapil Sharma will close in a few days. His (Gandhi's) videos can be shown by TV people and all the exertion of the elections will go away. You will not have to go anywhere for entertainment".
He said that "maa and beta" are competing with each other to lie about Gujarat and said he was ashamed that someone as "immature" as Rahul Gandhi was his principal opponent in the election.
He accused the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) of having a symbiotic relationship with Congress. While he stayed soft on BSP, he launched a frontal attack on the SP.
Firebrand BJP leader Uma Bharti said she was honoured that he hand-picked her to contest the election from Jhansi.