Jharkhand Chef Minister Raghubar Das is insistent that he is "Raghubar be-daag (stainless Raghubar)" and not "Raghubar daag (stained/corrupted Raghubar) as his political adversary Saryu Rai is claiming. In an interview to NDTV, Mr Das said despite all the corruption allegations by Mr Rai, the fact remains there is not a single case corruption case against him.
Mr Rai, a minister in Raghubar Das's cabinet and one of the most prominent faces of the BJP in the state, is contesting against the Chief Minister after being denied a party ticket.
BJP sources claimed that the Chief Minister had reservations about his candidature due to his role in busting various scams -- including the fodder scam in undivided Bihar and later, the 800-crore mining scam in Jharkhand.
The Chief Minister's move to deny him a ticket and offer several to corruption accused leaders who have recently joined the BJP is seen as evidence that the BJP is no longer keen on its anti-corruption stance that was the theme of campaign in the 2014 election.
Yesterday, Mr Rai had dubbed Mr Das "Raghubar Daag" - tying him to some of the corruption cases in the state.
Asked why the party fielded a chargesheeted leader like Bhanu Pratap Sahi, Mr Das pointed a finger at the Congress.
"Even Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were chargesheeted,"he said, referring to the National Herald case. "If Sahi gets convicted, then he will lose his membership," he added.
Regarding the FIR against more than 10,000 tribals in Khunti district in connection with the Pathalgarhi tribal movement, Mr Das said no one is being framed, and that it was "propaganda" against his government that tribals and minorities were being singled out and targeted.
Rahul Gandhi had highlighted the matter in a tweet today, alleging that the government had slammed the "draconian "sedition" law on 10,000 Adivasis fighting against state oppression".
Pathalgadi, a tribal movement against the Central government, had swept the state over the last two years. Opposing forcible acquisition of tribal land, they advocated setting up a parallel administration based on the traditional tribal governance system.
Rahul Gandhi, Raghubar Das said, was not aware of the facts in the matter and was "unnecessarily trying to raise it on the eve of the elections", which the Congress is contesting in alliance with local oufit Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Lalu Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal.
Regarding the challenge of the united opposition, Raghubar Das said even in Lok Sabha, the opposition was united. "They had a much broader alliance among them, but see, we won 12 out of the state's 14 Lok Sabha seats. So people will vote for us again," he said.