JAIPUR: With the political atmosphere in Rajasthan slowly heating up ahead of the Assembly elections scheduled for later this year, issues have taken a backseat and petty charges are being traded between the ruling Congress and the main opposition BJP.

On Tuesday, the BJP had convened a press conference to brief journalists about party state president Vasundhara Raje's Suraj Sankalp Yatra.

During the conference, Rajya Sabha MP and yatra convener Bhupendra Yadav alleged that the Congress had stolen its slogan of bringing in a “New Rajasthan”.

The Congress on Wednesday retorted by claiming “New Rajasthan” had always been a Congress slogan and it was the BJP who had appropriated it.

“Both Bhupendra Yadav and Vasundhara Raje are outsiders and know nothing about Rajasthan and its people,” Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson Kuldeep Sharma told The Hindu .

“New Rajasthan was the highlight of the Congress' election manifesto in 2008 and with the establishment of the Barmer refinery and several other welfare schemes, the Congress government has indeed turned that dream of a New Rajasthan into a reality,” said Mr. Sharma.

“So it is the BJP which stole our slogan and not the other way around,” he said.

The RPCC also objected to the BJP's accusation that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had used “uncivilised language” against Ms. Raje.

“Mr. Gehlot has long enjoyed a reputation of being a sincere politician with a firm belief in democratic values. The BJP is miffed at the success of our yatra and is levelling baseless allegations in frustration,” said Mr. Sharma