New Delhi | The JD(U) on Sunday blamed the Congress for the collapse of the INDIA bloc in Bihar, saying its leaders were interested in strengthening their party and not the opposition grouping.
Janata Dal (United) spokesperson K C Tyagi told reporters that a "caucus" within the Congress wanted to capture the INDIA bloc leadership and its president Mallikarjun Kharge's name was proposed as the chairperson of the grouping as part of the conspiracy.
The decision taken about Kharge at the INDIA bloc meeting earlier this month had shocked the JD(U), which believed that its president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar would be named as the convenor without being saddled with any chairperson, its leaders had then said.
Another JD(U) spokesperson, Rajib Ranjan, was more severe in targeting the Congress, alleging that it first sunk itself by trying to make a person who lacks any quality and harms the opposition alliance a prime minister. The comment was a likely swipe at Rahul Gandhi.
Ranjan described the Congress as "bhasmasur" (mythological demon whose touch would burn down anyone).
Hitting back at the Congress' charge of opportunism against Kumar after he walked out of the opposition alliance and rejoined hands with old ally BJP, Tyagi said it is the obduracy of the main opposition party that derailed the INDIA bloc.
He said the JD(U) had problems with the RJD, the main opposition party in Bihar, at a local level but squarely blamed the Congress for the development.
"We have regret as well as relief that our leader who brought together the INDIA bloc has walked out of it," Tyagi said.
The Congress wanted to capture the ground of regional parties by making a disproportionate demand of seats in the states they are strong in, he said.
The party "ordered" its allies like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bihar CM Kumar to join its Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra as if they were its workers, Tyagi added.
The Congress never accommodated any ally in the states where it is strong, he said and cited several assembly polls.
The INDIA bloc sorely lacked the optics needed to take on a grassroots party like the BJP, which is headed by a popular leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said.