New Delhi, Sep 24: Rahul Gandhi has gone to Aspen in US to attend a conference and would be back much before campaigning in Bihar polls gets underway, Congress said today dismissing BJP's criticism of the tour of the party Vice-President.
Reacting sharply to the BJP criticism, party's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said that it would be better for the BJP if it focused more on the poll tussle in Bihar rather than the visit to US of Gandhi.
The Congress leader insisted that the party Vice President has gone to the US to attend a conference 'Weekend with Charlie Rose' at Aspen Institute in Colorado.
BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao had earlier said that the Conference Gandhi was claimed to have gone to attend had got over in July and accused it of "resorting to falsehood to hide facts we don't know".
"Congress is unable to give proper reason for Rahul's absence. Everyday they are trotting out a new story, coming out with a new fact that turns out to be false. It is resorting to apparent falsehood and lies to hide facts we don't know," he told reporters.
Rao claimed the institute's manager had stated that nobody by the name of the Congress leader had either attended its event or was scheduled to take part in future. Rao said Rahul was entitled to go on a personal visit but Congress should stop "lying" to "mislead" the country.
BJP and Congress are involved in a bitter war of words after the Congress leader left for the US, with the ruling party firing the first salvo derisively claiming he had been sent on a "forced vacation" as his Bihar allies believed that his presence would harm their chances in the assembly polls.
Hitting back, Congress accused it of spreading "patent lies" and "petty canards" as BJP was foreseeing its "imminent loss" in the Bihar polls. "Rahul Gandhi is travelling to Aspen, US, on a short visit to attend a conference.
'Weekend with Charlie Rose' is a conference where thought leaders from different walks of life like politics, finance, technology, media, medicine, sports gather to deliberate on multiple issues," Surjewala had said.