As Rajasthan gears up for the Assembly election to be held on Sunday, BJP State president and chief ministerial hopeful Vasundhara Raje was the target of a vicious smear campaign.

On Wednesday, several journalists here (but not this correspondent) received an unmarked envelope by post. The envelope contained a compact disc and several posters/leaflets containing highly objectionable material about Ms. Raje, attacking her lifestyle and her personal life.

While the BJP has squarely blamed the Congress for this smear campaign, the ruling party refuted the allegations. “It is the Congress which is doing this ... they are frustrated because they have not been able to and just before the elections they have stooped to this level by attempting this sort of character-assassination. If they had anything why were they silent for five years,” BJP spokesperson Kailash Nath Bhatt told The Hindu, adding: “The people of Rajasthan will give them a reply by voting them out of power.”

While media and political circles here speculated on the source of the material, the Congress rubbished any role in the matter. “It is an inside job by some BJP leaders ... the Congress does not need to resort to such stunts ... this matter has brought to the fore the internal differences within the BJP,” Congress spokesperson Satyendra Raghav told The Hindu.