Congress leader Jairam Ramesh claimed on Sunday that the Bharatiya Janata Party is carrying out a “frightening level of communal polarisation” in poll-bound states like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, which is a “huge challenge” for the Congress. He also alleged that for every Amit Shah [BJP chief], there are “10 Amit Shahs” in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh who practice “covert polarisation”.

“There is a high degree of communal polarisation that the BJP is doing in every election and in these states,” Ramesh, a former union minister, told PTI. “The only explanation I have for the Uttar Pradesh win of the BJP [in the 2017 Assembly elections] is the frightening level of communal polarisation. They are doing this in Chhattisgarh and certainly in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.”

Ramesh alleged the BJP indulged in both overt and covert polarisation. “One is overt polarisation, which is the language used by Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said. “Then there is covert polarisation done by the RSS and its people through the word of mouth.”

“For every Amit Shah there are 10 Amit Shahs of the RSS who are practising and preaching covert polarisation,” the Congress leader added. “That is what happened in Uttar Pradesh.”

The former Union environment minister claimed Shah was “the new word for taanashahi [dictatorship]”. “It [polarisation] is a challenge we have to face whether in power or outside,” Ramesh told PTI. He said the party’s battle with the RSS is a “long drawn out” one.

Ramesh accused Modi of “falsification of facts, falsification of history” in his electoral campaign. “He is not prime ministerial in his campaign,” the Congress leader alleged. “[Look at] the way he distorts history, the way he falsifies facts, the way he abuses his political opponents.”

However, Ramesh asserted that the Congress will perform well in Assembly elections to the five states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana. The results for all five states will be declared on December 11.