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India's Modi fires 'poison' barbs at rival Congress

Published on Feb 2, 2014 8:19 PM

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's opposition leader Narendra Modi, favourite to win this year's election, accused the ruling Congress party of "spewing poison" as he hit back on Sunday against a string of attacks from its leaders.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul have all targeted Mr Modi in recent weeks for overseeing savage communal riots a decade ago as chief minister of western Gujarat state.

Mr Rahul, who is masterminding the Congress election campaign, said in a rare interview last week that Mr Modi's government was guilty of "abetting" the 2002 riots which left up to 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, dead.

But speaking at a rally in the giant state of Uttar Pradesh, which has itself been the scene of recent deadly communal violence, Mr Modi accused Congress of spreading division.

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