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Sonia Gandhi joins Congress campaign trail, accuses PM Modi of distorting facts, using names of historical figures for political motives

Addressing an election rally after a gap of two years, former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of distorting facts and using the names of historical figures for political motives.

"Wherever Modi Ji goes he says wrong things and distorts historical facts. He uses the names of heroes from our history for his political motives," Sonia Gandhi said as she addressed a rally in Bijapur.

Both, the Congress and the BJP, have been trading barbs over the issue of the celebration of the birth anniversary of 18th-century ruler Tipu Sultan.

Last week, PM Modi Modi had criticised the Congress government for celebrating " jayantis (birth anniversaries) of sultans" for the sake of "vote bank politics".

The Congress had hit back by saying that the BJP is trying to use the name of veterans with an intent to polarise the society for electoral benefits.

Today, Sonia Gandhi, acknowledging the Prime Minister's oratory skills, asked if his speeches have the potential to end hunger in the country.

"Modi ji is proud of the fact that he is a very good orator, I agree with this. He speaks like an actor. I'll be happy if his speeches can end hunger of the country but speeches cannot fill empty stomachs, food is needed for that," she argued.

Earlier today, PM Modi took a dig at Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, saying even leaders in his party have begun to doubt his ability to steer the Congress to victory in Karnataka.

"Even Congress leaders have begun to feel that the son would not be able to help the party win Karnataka. I saw a Congress leader's interview. So, send the mother (Sonia Gandhi) to ensure its candidates can at least save their security deposits," Modi said.

Hours after PM Modi's speech, Sonia Gandhi lashed out at the Central government, saying it had discriminated against Karnataka.

"All drought-affected states were given compensation (by Centre). However, Karnataka was provided with the least. This is akin to rubbing salt into the wounds of the farmers. I ask Modi ji , is this your ' sabka - saath , sabka - vikas ?" she said.

Lauding the Siddaramaiah government for its initiatives concerning the poor and the farmers, she urged people to defeat the BJP over its "jumlas".

"Your CM Siddaramaiah wanted to meet PM over this issues but he refused. By doing this he has insulted not only the farmers but also the state of Karnataka," she said.

Sonia Gandhi slammed PM Modi and his party for trying to obstruct the development of the state.

Gandhi also targeted Modi over allegations concerning Reddy brothers and about spurt in turnover of a company linked to BJP chief Amit Shah's son Jay Shah.

"What is his model of ending corruption. Wherever he addresses rallies in Karnataka, there are people around him. Will you adopt their model or you will adopt model of your closest associate," she said.

The Congress leader has not been a part of an election rally since August 2016 when she was taken ill during a roadshow in Varanasi. During her absence, Rahul Gandhi has been spearheading the party's election campaign.