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Sonia, Modi hold rallies, war of words gets shriller

HT Correspondents, Agencies, Hindustan Times  Khargone/Rewa/Raipur, November 15, 2013
First Published: 22:54 IST(15/11/2013) | Last Updated: 00:33 IST(16/11/2013)

It is getting shriller and nastier out there as polling dates draw close.

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A day after Narendra Modi talked about her illness and suggested that Rahul Gandhi take charge, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi hit back on Friday. The BJP’s hope of returning to power was nothing more than a daydream, Gandhi said, addressing rallies in Madhya Pradesh, which goes to the polls on November 25.

“BJP leaders are daydreaming about power... They are so engrossed in their greed for power that they are pulling each other down,” she said.

In neighbouring Chhattisgarh, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate launched into the Congress yet again. "The UPA says tea-sellers can’t be PM. Are those who sell our nation fit to become the PM then?” Modi said, getting back at the jibe taken on his humble origin.

“Maine chai bechi hai, Imaan nahi becha (I have sold tea but not my integrity)” he said at Raigarh.

Chhattisgarh will hold the second and final phase of polling on November 19. The BJP is eyeing a third successive term in both the states.

The BJP, Gandhi said, had not understood what India stood for -- brotherhood, compassion and sacrifice. "They pit a brother against a brother for their selfish ends. There is a need to be cautious about them," she said.

Modi went a step further and invoked Hitler. “Is the Congress language not reflecting the style of Hitler, is it not against the democracy?” The Gujarat CM was referring to a Congress leader allegedly suggesting that Bharat Ratna awarded to Lata Mangeshkar be taken back after the legendary singer said she wanted Modi to be the next PM.

While Gandhi raised the issues of corruption, poverty and misgovernance, Modi accused the Nehru-Gandhi family of “destroying the system” while mocking Rahul.

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