"Madam, you are ill. Let the shehzada (prince) take over. And let's see then if he can deliver round-the-clock electricity to Chhattisgarh," said Mr Modi, while campaigning for his party, the BJP, which is asking voters for a third straight term in the state. Mrs Gandhi has been traveling abroad for medical check-ups; her party has refused to comment on whether she has cancer, as reported by some sections of the media.
Mr Modi is the BJP's candidate for prime minister. Mr Gandhi is leading the Congress's campaign for the elections that will be held over the next few weeks in five states, and whose results will be interpreted as a sign of things to come for the national election, due by May.
The Election Commission has issued notice to Mr Modi yesterday for describing the Congress and its symbol, the hand, as "a khooni panja" or bloody claw. Mr Gandhi was formally rebuked yesterday by the Commission for accusing the BJP of instigating communal violence across the country.
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