New Delhi: Slamming BJP for pursuing what he charged was a brand of "communal politics", former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar has said that the saffron party was trying to frighten 85 percent of the people of India by demonising 15 percent of the minority population.
The JD(U) leader, whose party is being partnered by RJD in Bihar, also said that the tie-up with the Lalu Yadav-led outfit would not change his "principles of good governance".
Speaking to a TV news channel, Kumar alluded to several controversial statements made by BJP leaders and the row over alleged forced conversions in Agra and said that the Narendra Modi government was working on the ground to divide society while talking up its development agenda in public.
"They (BJP) talk about their strength. What kind of strength is this that you frighten about 85 percent of the people (Hindus) by raising the bogey of 15 percent of minorities?
"They talk outwardly of 'sabka saath, sabka vikas' but are working on ground to divide society," he said.
Kumar said there is no difference between RSS and BJP in its current "extremist" avatar, adding that the former was "marginalised" during the "moderate" Atal Bihari Vajpayee's term as prime minister. Kumar had been a Cabinet minister in the Vajpayee government.
Kumar, who had resigned as Bihar Chief Minister following his party's rout in Lok Sabha elections, said that the proposed merger of Janata Parivar offshoots was an attempt to strengthen the opposition. If the new outfit does well, then parties from other states can also join them, he added.
Meanwhile, admitting that people had preferred Modi's agenda over his in the Lok Sabha elections, Kumar, however, said that the "manufactured aura" around the Modi government remains but will fade away in time.
The media and others will then think about the massive spending and the advertisement blitzkrieg which had driven BJP's campaign for Lok Sabha polls.
JD(U) had parted ways with BJP over Modi's elevation as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate.