Trading of charges between the BJP and the Congress continued on Thursday on the issue of attacks on Biharis in Gujarat which has forced thousands of migrants from the state to return to their homeland.
Senior BJP leader and Union minister Giriraj Singh sought to pin the blame for the violence in the western state, which is ruled by his party, on Congress MLA Alpesh Thakor whom he compared to Mumbai terror attacks accused Ajmal Kasab.
"Thakor's men are spreading terror in Gujarat just like Kasab did in Mumbai on 26/11", Singh told a news channel here, referring to the alleged involvement of an organization run by the Congress MLA in the violence that has taken place in a number of Gujarat districts following the rape of a 14-month-old girl in Banaskantha.
Hitting back, senior Congress leader Prem Chandra Mishra said "we do not expect anything better from Giriraj. But he and his party should do some soul searching before levelling allegations against Alpesh Thakor".
"The BJP needs to tell the people of Bihar why migrants from here are being targeted wherever the party is in power. Besides the unfortunate happenings in Gujarat, there has been this diktat in neighbouring Maharashtra to auto drivers that they must learn Marathi", Mishra told PTI.
"The BJP is dragging the name of a Congress MLA to hide its own failures. It is responsible for an economic crisis in previously better off states like Maharashtra and Gujarat and with no solutions in sight, Biharis are being made scapegoats.
And this is happening with the BJP's tacit approval", the Congress MLC alleged. Meanwhile, scores of people claiming to be supporters of the "Savarn Morcha" - a pro-upper caste organization - staged a demonstration in front of the main gate of state Congress headquarters at the Sadaqat Ashram.
"Some of the agitators said they belonged to Savarna Morcha. One or two also claimed to be Bajrang Dal activists.
Youth Congress activists confronted them and there was a prolonged heated exchange, though it did not lead to physical violence", BPCC spokesman H K Verma said.
He said "we find it strange that those claiming to be aggrieved by violence against Biharis in Gujarat have a grouse against the Congress, which rules neither the state nor the Centre.
Even if one were to accept that Alpesh Thakor is in any way involved, who has stopped the Gujarat government from taking any action".
(With inputs from agencies.)