Asserting that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popularity is its "biggest strength", BJP today took a jibe at Congress over the Pew survey findings that PM Modi was more popular than Rahul Gandhi, even among the self-identified supporters of the opposition party.
Party spokesperson MJ Akbar said the "most interesting" aspect of the survey - according to which PM Modi's favourability ratings have jumped to 87 per cent - was that the Prime Minister was more popular than the Congress vice-president even among the Congress supporters.
"It shows that even the supporters and voters of the Congress are running away from the dynasty. And they are connecting with the developmental agenda of PM Modi. You will find an evidence of this in Bihar elections," Mr Akbar told reporters.
"Prime Minister Modi's popularity is the biggest strength of BJP," he said.
He also hit out at a media report that PM Modi had recently met AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, termed it as an "absolute fabrication and pernicious lie".
The story was an example of "yellow journalism at its worst" and BJP will file a defamation case against the newspaper seeking heavy damages, Mr Akbar said. The story was part of a conspiracy to further a political agenda, he alleged.
Mr Owaisi's party has decided to field candidates in the Seemanchal region of Bihar where Muslims are in large numbers. Some leaders of the grand alliance of JD(U)-RJD-Congress have alleged that Mr Owaisi was doing it to help BJP by dividing Muslims votes in the crucial assembly polls.
Meanwhile, asked if the Centre will declassify filed related to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose as the West Bengal government did today, he parried the query saying the Prime Minister will take a final call on the basis of the national interest.