Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath have made light of the episode, putting up a united face (File)
Ahead of the elections in Madhya Pradesh, Congress equated its state president Kamal Nath and senior leader Digvijaya Singh with "Jai" and "Veeru" from the iconic film "Sholay", played by Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra. The comparison by Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala triggered a counter by the BJP, which called the two "jail escapees" and deceitful.
Actors Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra played the role of two friends Jai and Veeru, respectively in the 1975 blockbuster Sholay. In the movie, the two friends flee from jail and are later hired by a retired police officer to fight Gabbar, a dreaded dacoit.
Asked about the bond between Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, Surjewala drew the analogy from Sholay.
"The relationship between them is the same as was between Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan (in Sholay). Neither "Gabbar" (the film's villain) could get them into a fight (in the movie) nor will the BJP's Gabbar be able to get it done here," Mr Surjewala told reporters in Bhopal.
Mr Surjewala was asked about the change in the candidates for some seats and the apparent differences between Mr Singh and Mr Nath over the distribution of tickets in the state.
Alleging that a huge conflict is going on within the ruling BJP over ticket distribution, the Congress leader said that his party has decided where ticket changes were required and this matter is now over.
"They (the BJP) say such things every day to show their irritation. What is the BJP's problem with our party? There is love and coordination between Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath, and all our leaders. This is for the development and progress of Madhya Pradesh," he said.
Reacting to Mr Surjewala's statement, state BJP spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said the remark established that the two Congress leaders are like the "deceitful characters of Jai and Veeru, who escaped from jail".
"These were movie characters who escaped from jail. The same is the condition of Mr Bantadhar (as BJP calls Digvijaya Singh) and Corruption Nath (for Kamal Nath) in Madhya Pradesh. They have looted Congress workers and the general public whenever they got an opportunity. No one was spared by these two," Mr Chaturvedi said.
Earlier this month, a video of Kamal Nath surfaced purportedly showing him asking party men to "tear" Digvijaya Singh's clothes after a leader from Shivpuri was denied a ticket. This fuelled talks of a rift in the party over the selection of candidates.
However, the former Chief Ministers sought to make light of the episode and put up a united face. The BJP on Friday again alleged that Mr Singh distanced himself from the campaign following the "dispute" over ticket distribution.
As BJP latched on to the video to target Congress, Kamal Nath clarified that his relation with Mr Singh was not merely political.
Elections to the state's 230 seats will be held in a single phase on November 17 and votes will be counted on December 3.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)