Punjab Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu came out of jail on Saturday, 10 months after he was imprisoned in a road rage case that killed a man 34 years ago.
After getting out of the jail in Punjab's Patiala, Mr Sidhu jumped straight to work.
"Democracy is in chains," he said, in an apparent swipe at the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Punjab is the shield of this country. When dictatorship came in this country, a revolution also came, led by Rahul Gandhi," Mr Sidhu said.
He alleged the centre wants to impose President's rule in the state where the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a bitter rival of the BJP, is in power. His comments come amid the search for radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh, whose private militia has been accused of trying to create trouble in Punjab and disturb law and order.
"There is a conspiracy to impose President's rule in Punjab. They are trying to weaken Punjab. I stand like a wall with Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and every Congress worker," Mr Sidhu said.
"I want to ask my little brother (Chief Minister and AAP leader) Bhagwant Mann. Why did you fool the people of Punjab? You made tall promises, cracked jokes. But you are just Chief Minister on paper today," said Mr Sidhu, who was released from jail over eight hours later from the scheduled time onSaturday. He alleged the government wanted the media to leave before releasing him.
The Supreme Court in May last year ordered one-year "rigorous imprisonment" to Mr Sidhu, who had by then quit as Punjab Congress chief after his party's defeat in the state election.
The court judgment came on a request by the family of the man who died after a fight with Mr Sidhu and his friend in 1988. The family had asked for a review of a 2018 order from the Supreme Court acquitting him of murder.