Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) on Thursday charged the BJP with spreading "rumours" of attacks on migrant workers in Tamil Nadu with an eye on "electoral gains".
JD(U) national president Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan also said that though his party did not favour criticising the country on foreign soil, it felt that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was well within his rights to express his anxieties about "threats to democracy in India" during his Cambridge tour.
"It has turned out that nothing had happened in Tamil Nadu. And just look at the people who have been booked and arrested for spreading rumours", said the JD(U) chief, referring to cases being lodged against a number of BJP leaders by the DMK government in the southern state.
"So, this is the character of the BJP. Rumour-mongering, and coercion of parties opposed to it, all for electoral gains. But it is making a mistake. People of the country are now conscious enough to see through their designs", said the JD(U) president, whose party snapped ties with the saffron party less than a year ago.
Asked about the controversy triggered by Rahul Gandhi's remarks abroad, the chief, whose party is now aligned with the Congress, said "we believe the problems in the country are best discussed on the home soil, which offers a very large stage. We do not think one's own country should be criticised on foreign soil", The JD(U) national president, however, hastened to add "we also hold that Rahul Gandhi is well within his rights to express his anxieties about the threats to democracy in India. And the threats are, indeed, real. This is a fact borne out by the Supreme Court's recent judgement on the appointment of Election Commissioners".
He also sought to make light of speculations that Chirag Paswan, a known detractor of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Upendra Kushwaha, who recently rebelled against the JD(U) supreme leader and quit the party, were likely to join the BJP-led NDA.
"Just recall the 2015 assembly polls when these people were very much with the BJP. They performed dismally", he said referring to the high-decibel elections which saw the NDA being trounced by the 'Mahagathbandhan'(Grand Alliance) that had come into being with Nitish Kumar, RJD chief Lalu Prasad and the Congress joining hands.
He also said that the BJP's 'jod tod' (attempts to split other parties) was at work in Nagaland where the lone JD(U) MLA ended up offering support to the newly formed government of which the saffron party was a part.
"Since we hold that we can have no relationship with the BJP, we held the Nagaland unit guilty of gross indiscipline and decided to dissolve it. The BJP had earlier broken away our MLAs in Arunachal, too. In Bihar, they wanted to do to us what they had succeeded in doing in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. But we got wind of their plans in time", alleged Mr Singh, referring to last year's upheaval.
"The BJP has no scruples. Its sole concern is power. Just look at Meghalaya where they had been accusing the government of being the most corrupt. Now the same dispensation has returned to power and the BJP's top leaders flew down to attend the oath-taking ceremony", said the JD(U) chief.
"The BJP has had no achievement to showcase despite having been in power at the Centre for so many years. Everywhere it keeps talking about the Ujjwala Yojana, which has been a failure as expensive gas cylinders make it impossible for beneficiaries to go in for a refill. Another scheme they rave about is the Ayushman Bharat. They should release data of how many people have benefited from the promise of Rs five lakh health insurance cover", demanded the JD(U) president.
The BJP is also trying to shy away from the demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee to look into allegations against the Adani group which is being accused of the biggest corporate fraud in history, the JD(U) chief said.
"On the other hand, it keeps harassing its opponents through vindictive use of agencies like CBI, ED and Income Tax department", he alleged.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)