Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani on Saturday dared Pakistan to go to a fourth war instead of targetting temples and civilians through what he called a proxy war, local media reports said.
Campaigning in Gujarat, where human rights groups say more than 2,500 people, mainly Muslims, died this year in some of India's worst ever communal violence, Advani said India was ready for war.
"Let us fight it out face to face. We have fought thrice, let there be a fourth war," Press Trust of India quoted Advani as saying.
The Gujarat poll is the latest test for the battling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party that both rules the state and leads the national coalition government, but which has suffered major setbacks in other key state polls this year.