Amid the controversy of Narendra Modi's rally being denied permission in the temple town, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday “invited” the Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate for an "open discussion" in Varanasi.
"I invite Mr Modi for an open discussion on a public platform. Let Kashi people ask straight questions from both of us. Time, place his choice," Kejriwal tweeted on Thursday morning.
The former Delhi chief minister, who is pitted against Modi from this crucial Uttar Pradesh seat, alleged that Modi was trying to draw "political mileage" in garb of the 'Ganga Arti' prayers.
"Modi ji given permission of Ganga arti. Yet rather than performing arti, he is trying to draw political mileage. Sad," he said on the micro-blogging site.
"Then why doesn't he just go and perform arti? Why politicise it?," he asked as he posted on Twitter the official permission granted by the Election Commission to Modi in this regard.
Keeping his attack specific on the 'Ganga Arti' permission sought by BJP for Modi to perform the holy ritual in Varanasi on Thursday, Kejriwal said EC's permission is required for "political activities" and not for offering prayers.
"Agar apko kewal arti aur pujan karna ho to EC ki permission nahi chahiye hoti. U need EC permission for political activities...
"...I went alone one day and performed arti. No one stopped me. I will again go with my wife today and do arti. Neeyat saaf honi chahiye," he said.
Kejriwal also pointed out that the BJP top brass has landed in the holy city, which he claimed was a sign of "nervousness" on the part of the hierarchy.
"BJP top brass landed in Kashi. Shows their nervousness. Will they be able to save Modi ji from defeat?," he said in a series of tweets.