PATNA: Days after posters were put up in Patna categorising Congress leaders including party chief Rahul Gandhi on the basis of their castes, the Bharatiya Janata Party has given its reply in the form of its own poster.
The BJP in its poster has photos of several top leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh. Below the photos of these leaders, they have been individually characterised as 'Bharatiya' (Indian).
The poster has been put up by BJP's youth wing- Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha. It also has the caption of the party of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas'.
Earlier, the BJP had criticised the Congress for putting up caste based posters and had asked the Election Commission to take note of the 'political gimmicks'.
The Congress posters depicted the party leaders as representatives of their respective caste groups. While Rahul Gandhi and Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee president Madan Mohan Jha were described as representatives of "Brahmin community", Gohil's image was labelled "Rajput samuday".
Images of campaign committee chairman and Rajya Sabha member Akhilesh Prasad Singh and Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh were labelled "Bhumihar samuday" and "pichhda samuday" respectively.
The posters also had images of a few other prominent party leaders, with their respective caste groups mentioned thereon.
In the posters, Rahul and AICC in-charge for the state Shaktisinh Gohil were thanked for constituting a new state Congress Committee and "setting an example of social harmony". The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee was revamped last week with the appointment of new office-bearers.
While the BJP continued to attack, the Congress leaders have been avoided questions on the posters.
BJP state spokesman Nikhil Anand urged the Election Commission to "take note of the brazen attempt at playing the caste card ahead of the Lok Sabha polls".
"In sheer desperation, the Congress has been resorting to gimmicks like proclaiming Rahul Gandhi as one who wears the sacred thread, worships Lord Shiva and goes to Kailash Mansarovar on pilgrimage. The posters mark a new low in the history of the Congress which Mahatma Gandhi had, rightly, wished to abolish after Independence. The party and its national president should apologise to the nation for the antics while the EC should take note of the attempts to whip up caste and religious feelings and initiate appropriate action," Anand had said.
With both parties cornering each other over any and every issue, this poster war will certainly set the political tempers running.