The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday charged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of hurting the pride of Bihar by joining hands with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress in the state and said it is a cruel joke on the people.

“The pride of Bihar was hurt on the day when Nitish decided to join hands with Lalu Prasad Yadav, his party RJD and the Congress,” senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi told thestatesman.com.

“Earlier, Nitish blamed these leaders for the backwardness of the state, and today he himself has joined hands with them,” Modi said, adding, “I can only feel that this is a cruel joke on the people of Bihar.”

The charges against Nitish came in the backdrop of the grand alliance&’s Swabhiman rally in Patna on Sunday. The rally will be attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav, Nitish, Lalu, and several top leaders of the alliance party.

This is the first joint rally of the grand alliance after the announcement of their alliance on June 8.

The former Bihar deputy chief minister also blamed Lalu for hurting the state&’s image and said, “The RJD ruled the state for 15 years. And the state cannot forget his 15-year rule.”

“Earlier people of Bihar residing in different parts of the country used to hide their real identity as they felt insulted by the word Bihari all due to the poor law and order condition of the state,” Modi added.

Modi also said, “The Congress is paying for their deeds in Bihar, as they have been reduced to mere four seats in the last assembly elections.”

The Congress party ruled the state for almost 40 years, before the RJD&’s rule.