Congress on Monday took a swipe at Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the advertisement row involving him and Narendra Modi saying there was no difference between the BJP and the Gujarat Chief Minister and the controversy was only to fool the people of the state.
"He (Nitish) has worked with the BJP for the last four-and-a-half years. There is no difference between the BJP and Modi.... This (ad controversy) was to fool the people of the state," AICC general secretary in-charge of Bihar Mukul Wasnik told reporters in New Delhi after chairing a meeting of the coordination team and observers for the state.
With Assembly elections due later this year, Kumar has made it known that he would not like to be seen with Modi, the face of hardline Hindutva, and be associated with any move that could anger Muslim voters, who constitute 16 per cent of the state's population.
Wasnik, who recently took over as the party in-charge of the poll-bound state, said, "people of Bihar will respond to it (Nitish Kumar sharing power with BJP in the state and distancing himself with Modi) at an appropriate time".
The AICC general secretary has also formed a 50-strong coordination team for assembly elections in Bihar, which includes 20 MPs and 5 AICC secretaries. The state has been divided into nine zones for poll related purposes.
"From our side, preparations for the elections have begun. The co-ordination team would monitor and supervise at the grassroots level and will expose the failure of the state government in various fields," Wasnik said.
He said the Congress will be going to the people to "expose the tall claims" of the JD(U)-BJP government in the state and inform them about the achievements of the UPA government at the Centre.
There will be an observer for each district to assess the ground realities and short-list the names of the candidates from the district. The names would then be sent to the state Election Committee and then to the Central Election Committee for final selection.
Congress has been out of power in the state for the last two decades and in the 234-member Bihar Assembly, it has only 10 members.
The party has already decided to go it alone in the assembly polls scheduled to be held in October-November after breaking ties with Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Lok Janshakti Party in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.