Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Ahead of the Madhya Pradesh polls, Congress has equated its state president Kamal Nath and senior leader Digvijaya Singh with Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra who played the roles of 'Jai' and 'Veeru' respectively in the iconic film 'Sholay'.
The comparison by Congress general secretary Randeep Surjewala prompted rival BJP to call the duo "jail escapees" and deceitful.
Surjewala said when some journalist asked about the bond Nath and Singh share, he drew an analogy from Sholay.
"The relationship between Dharmendra and Amitabh Bachchan (in Sholay) is the same as between Singh and Nath. Neither 'Gabbar Singh' (film's lead villain) could get them into a fight (in movie) nor will BJP's Gabbar Singh be able to get it done here," Surjewala told reporters in reply to a question at a press conference in Bhopal.
Surjewala was asked about the change in the candidates for some seats and the apparent differences between Singh and Nath over ticket distribution in the state.
Alleging that a huge conflict is going on within the ruling BJP over ticket distribution, the Congress leader said that his party has taken the decision about where ticket changes were required and this matter is now over.
"They say such things every day to display their irritation. What is the problem of BJP with our party? There is love and coordination between Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath and all our leaders. This is for the development and progress of Madhya Pradesh," Surjewala said.
Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Dharmendra played the role of two friends Jai and Veeru, respectively in the 1975 blockbuster Sholay. In the movie, the two friends flee from jail and are later hired by a retired police officer to face off with Gabbar Singh, a dreaded dacoit.
Reacting to Surjewala's statement, state BJP spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said the remark has established the fact that Nath and Singh are similar to the "deceitful characters of Jai and Veeru, who escaped from jail".
"These were the movie characters who escaped from jail. The same is the condition of Mr Bantadhar (as BJP calls Singh) and Corruptionnath (Nath dubbed by BJP) in Madhya Pradesh. They have looted Congress workers. They looted the general public whenever they got an opportunity. No one was spared from these two," Chaturvedi said.
Earlier this month, a video of Nath emerged in which he purportedly asked his party men to "tear" clothes of Singh over the denial of a ticket to a leader from Shivpuri. This had fuelled talks of a rift in the party over the selection of candidates.
However, the former chief ministers sought to make light of the episode and put up a united face. The BJP on Friday again alleged that Singh has distanced himself from the campaigning following the "dispute" over ticket distribution.
As BJP latched on to the video to target Congress, Nath had clarified that the relations between Singh and him were not merely political.
Polling for the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh will be held in a single phase on November 17 and votes will be taken up for counting on December 3.