Former IPL chief Lalit Modi’s claims that Varun Gandhi had offered him to "settle" all matters with Sonia Gandhi triggered a war of words between BJP and Congress, with the former seeking an explanation from the Congress President and the latter dismissing the charges as a "ploy" to divert attention.

Seeking to corner Congress, BJP said Sonia should reply to the allegations that a deal was offered to settle matters with Lalit Modi, who is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on charges of money laundering.

BJP national secretary Shrikant Sharma said, "Sonia Gandhi should answer on the allegations made by Modi." 

BJP Spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said, "While Varun Gandhi has put across his point of view, Sonia Gandhi should answer on the allegations made by Lalit Modi. Congress asks too many questions, it is time now for them to reply." 

Levelling fresh allegations, Lalit Modi on Wednesday sought to drag Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and BJP leader Varun Gandhi in the escalating row.

On charges made by Modi against the party leaders, Congress chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said the former IPL chief was trying to divert attention from the Congress demand of resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in this connection.

"The ‘chhota Modi’ is helping ‘bada Modi’. He has become the ‘sankatmochak’ (trouble-shooter). The ‘chhota Modi’ is acting at the instance of someone within the government and the BJP. These are preposterous allegations.

"He is trying to divert attention from the demand of resignation (of Swaraj and Raje)," the Congress spokesperson said, asserting that his party will "not lose focus and will not relent and will not stop".

The Congress attack has sharpened at a time when the monsoon session of Parliament was just 20 days away and is expected to be a stormy affair if the ‘Lalitgate’ row continued.