Rahul Gandhi and the Congress have a "pathological hatred" of Hinduism, according to the BJP's Sambit Patra, amid a row over Salman Khurshid's book on Ayodhya and a passage comparing 'Hindutva' with terror groups like ISIS.
Mr Patra's attack came shortly after Rahul Gandhi sought to differentiate between 'Hinduism' and 'Hindutva' - an aggressive ideology widely linked to the RSS, the ruling BJP's ideological mentor.
The BJP leader declared Mr Gandhi had a history of criticising 'Hinduism' and its culture, and that it was in the Congress' "character" to attack Hinduism and "spread hate" in the society.
"It is in the character of the Congress and the Gandhi family to attack Hinduism at every opportunity... What they say is not a coincidence but an experiment. And the headmaster of this experimental lab is Rahul Gandhi," Mr Patra was quoted by news agency PTI.
"There is a pathological hatred for Hinduism among Congress leaders... and they get traction for this from the Gandhi family," he alleged.
Asked about Mr Gandhi differentiating between 'Hinduism' and 'Hindutva', Mr Patra replied: "Can they talk on similar lines about other religions? Of course not. They cannot talk of similar issues in any other religion. The question is why do they talk ill of Hinduism all the time."
Mr Patra cited terms like 'saffron terror' and said leaders like Shashi Tharoor and P Chidambaram had made such remarks because they had been directed to by Rahul Gandhi.
He dug out a 2010 comment - made public as part of WikiLeaks - in which Mr Gandhi reportedly told the then US Ambassador that extremist Hindu ideology was a bigger threat than Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Earlier today Mr Gandhi (during a virtual speech at a party event in Maharashtra), said: "We have to accept that there are two ideologies in India - the Congress ideology and the RSS ideology. We have to accept the BJP-RSS has spread hatred in today's India."
A row has exploded over Mr Khurshid's book - 'Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times'.
And with elections due in seven states next year, including the politically key Uttar Pradesh and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state of Gujarat, the BJP has jumped on the chance to attack the Congress, accusing it of playing "communal politics" to get Muslim votes.
With input from PTI