Sparking up a new controversy ahead of the Bihar by-elections, Bihar Congress leader Bhakta Charan Das accused the Rashtriya Janata Dal of joining hands with the BJP on Tuesday, 19 October.
Talking to The Hindu and responding to the RJD's refusal to hand over the Kusheshwarsthan constituency to the Congress Party to contest in the by-elections, Das alleged that "the alliance among the Congress, the RJD and the Left happened ... specifically to fight the communal forces."
"The obvious question that comes to mind is that if the RJD has broken the alliance, are they now with the communal forces?"
In a sharp rebuttal to Das, Rajya Sabha MP Manoj K. Jha said on behalf of the RJD that the former's comments were "both unfortunate and tragically funny" and that he "does not know about the sacrifices that Laluji and the RJD have made to fight communal forces," The Hindu reported.
Tensions have flared between the Congress and the RJD after both parties decided to field candidates in Tarapur and Kusheshwarsthan, which go to by-polls on 30 October.
The Congress Party believed that the Kusheshwarsthan seat was reserved for it, and the RJD decision to field a candidate was unilateral and made without consultation without the Congress.
The RJD however, denied these charges and claimed that its decision was taken after consultation with senior Congress leaders.
(With inputs from The Hindu.)