The Janata Dal United (JD-U) on Saturday slammed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for claiming that it bore the cost of ferrying migrant workers from Delhi to their home in Bihar, saying the party was speaking "half-truth" as the Arvind Kejriwal government has sought reimbursement of the payment.
The JD(U), headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, accused the AAP of resorting to "cheap politics to gain popularity".
The JD(U) also came down heavily on Leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly, Tejashwi Yadav for lapping up the issue to attack the NDA dispensation, asking him to "stop the rhetoric and do something good for the people of Bihar".
The AAP had on Friday claimed that the Kejriwal government paid for the migrant labourers travelling home after the Bihar government left them in the lurch.
"The train carrying 1,200 migrant labourers left for Muzaffarpur, Bihar today. The Arvind Kejriwal government will bear their full travel cost," Delhi minister Gopal Rai had tweeted on Friday.
In a sharp retort to the AAP, JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said on Saturday, "First of all, they (Delhi government) paid the fare and later its minister Gopal Rai posted it on Twitter.
"Subsequently the Delhi government sent a letter to Bihar government asking it to reimburse the fare incurred by them... Gopal Rai just told the half-truth to the people through his post," he said, adding such gimmicks are meant to gain cheap popularity.
The Bihar government has unequivocally made it clear that people after completing 21 days at quarantine centre will be reimbursed the full expenses and get an additional assistance of Rs 500 each, he said, adding each person will be getting a minimum assistance of Rs 1,000.
Joining issue with the AAP, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav slammed the Bihar government for showing "insensitivity" by not paying the train fare of the migrant labourers who boarded a Muzaffarpur-bound train from New Delhi on Friday.
Showing gratitude towards the Delhi chief minister, Yadav tweeted, "Thank you so much @ArvindKejriwal Ji. We are sorry for the insensitivity shown by Bihar govt. As a responsible opposition we offer our support in terms of financial contribution in taking back migrant Bihari workforce. Pls let us know the modalities of transferring the money."
"Dear @NitishKumar Ji!Stop acting like a Pvt Ltd Co. We are a welfare state & therefore its our responsibility to look after people. As per MHAs directive, do send us the list of passengers so that we can directly pay to the sending state. Our party is committed to serve poor," he said in another tweet.
The JD(U) spokesman, however, termed Yadav's comments as "rhetoric".
"First, you (Yadav) talked about giving 50 buses (for ferrying stranded students from Kota to Bihar), then paying fare for 200 trains... your list of promises is becoming endless. First of all, you should appear before the people in this hour of crisis," Prasad said.
The NDA leaders have been ridiculing the senior RJD leader for staying in the national capital and resorting to "Twitter politics" to register his presence in Bihar. The Assembly polls in Bihar are slated at the end of this year.