The Bharatiya Janata Party has accused the Congress of playing the “caste card” in Bihar after several posters in Patna showed pictures of party leaders, including its President Rahul Gandhi, with caste labels, PTI reported. The posters were spotted at major thoroughfares of the capital city on Wednesday.

The posters thanked party chief Rahul Gandhi and state head Shaktisinh Gohil for setting an example of “social harmony” through the composition of the new state Congress committee. Photos of several leaders were marked with the castes they represent – including Gandhi as a Brahmin and Gohil as a Rajput. Some other leaders were labelled as representatives of the Dalit, Muslim and backward communities.

The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee appointed new office-bearers last week.

BJP state spokesperson Nikhil Anand urged the Election Commission to “take note of the brazen attempt at playing the caste card ahead of the Lok Sabha polls”.

“In sheer desperation, the Congress has been resorting to gimmicks like proclaiming Rahul Gandhi as one who wears the sacred thread, worships Lord Shiva and goes to Kailash Mansarovar on pilgrimage,” Anand was quoted as saying. “The party and its national president should apologise to the nation for the antics while the EC should take note of the attempts to whip up caste and religious feelings and initiate appropriate action.”