A day after Narendra Modi accused her of resorting to "rabid communalism", Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday hit back asking whether someone who "speaks lies" was fit for the PM's post.
"Our party believes in communal harmony. We believe in uniting the country and not dividing country.
"I would like to ask you. Is someone who makes tall claims and speaks lies fit for the PM's post?" Gandhi told an election meeting in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh, without taking the name of Modi, who had on Thursday targeted her over meeting the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid in Delhi.
"The country has many serious issues to deal with," Gandhi said.
Apparently referring to Modi criticising the Congress on corruption, Gandhi said it was a serious issue and if any party had taken steps to curb it than it was the Congress.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, she said the Congress had also taken several development steps and programmes to strengthen infrastructure.
"No country has an act equal to the Food Security Act, which ensures grains at subsidised rates and protects children from malnourishment, while the MGNREGA gives employment opportunities," she said.
The Congress had brought the Forest Rights Act also to protect the interests of the tribals, Gandhi said.
Referring to Maoist violence in Jharkhand, where 20 out of 24 districts were affected with left wing extremism, Gandhi appealed to them to give up weapons and return to the mainstream.
"Violence is a big impediment toward the progress and development of the country. I appeal to my brothers and sisters to return to the mainstream," she added.