In the middle of a whirlwind tour of Gujarat on Wednesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, took on Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi, intensifying the war of words between him and the Gandhi family.

At a meeting at Kalol in Gandhinagar, Mr. Modi took a dig at Ms. Gandhi for her statement that with every criticism, the Congress would grow in strength. “The issue is not whether they become strong. The point is that the country should become strong.”

In Gandhinagar, Mr. Modi campaigned for the senior BJP leader L.K. Advani. He praised Mr. Advani for leading a “blemish-free” political life, and vowed to provide a clean government at the Centre.

Mr. Modi, who was hitherto absent from the poll scene in Gujarat, plans to campaign in Congress strongholds in the State. His campaign is set to focus on Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Sabarkantha and Banaskantha. On Thursday, he is set to address voters in Vadodara, where he is contesting, besides in Varanasi.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi are also scheduled to address rallies in Gujarat in the coming days.