Lucknow, Oct 10 (PTI) UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is a "coward" and was so "scared" of Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra that he kept her in custody and did not let her visit Lakhimpur Kheri after violence there, said Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday.

Baghel said this referring to the detention of Priyanka in Sitapur following the violence, in which eight people, including four farmers, were killed last Sunday.

Addressing the party’s "Kisan Nyay Rally" in Varanasi, he also slammed the BJP, saying it divides people in the name of religion, which they "learnt from the British".

Targeting Adityanath, Baghel said he had heard and believed that seers do not fear anyone but this Yogi proved to be a "big coward".

"He is such a coward that he got afraid of a woman, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, that he did not allow her to go to Lakhimpur Kheri and kept her in jail for four days. The UP chief minister will be such a big coward, I never knew this," Baghel said.

"When I reached Lucknow from Raipur, I was not allowed to move out of the airport. When I said that I want to go to the UP Congress office and that I want to meet Priyanka Gandhi, I was told that I cannot go out of the airport. Such a coward and frightened person, I have not seen," Baghel said.

Sharpening his attack, Baghel said Yogiji had come to Chhattisgarh a number of times but they never stopped him.

"And, I am telling him now to come to Chhattisgarh. But, with what face will he come to Chhattisgarh? He had said that the farmers' income will be doubled but this did not take place," the CM said.

"But, our leader Rahulji went to Chhattisgarh and promised the farmers that Rs 2,500 per quintal will be given to them for paddy and today Chhattisgarh is the only state to do so," he claimed, accusing the BJP of indulging in rhetoric (jumlebaaji”) Urging people to vote for the Congress in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls, he said his party always fought for farmers.

"The RSS and Savarkar used to act as informers of the British while on the other hand, it was Mahatma Gandhiji, who fought for the farmers. (Jawaharlal) Nehruji and Sardar Patelji also fought for the farmers," he said.

"They (BJP) know how to make people fight in the name of religion and this quality of divide and rule they have learnt from the British. This has been going on since the freedom struggle," he alleged.

On the issue of stray cattle, Baghel accused the BJP of seeking votes in the name of "gaumata" but doing nothing for it.

"In Chhattisgarh, we purchase cow dung at Rs 2 per kg and making vermicompost from it," he said.