(Eds: With minor edits & correcting typo) Ranchi, Feb 12 (PTI) Former Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh Tuesday termed the proposed “mahagathbandhan” (grand alliance) of opposition parties as “thug bandhan (alliance of cheats).

Singh, who is now the BJP national vice president said the opposition leaders are forging “mahagathbandhan” as they are afraid that the BJP will return to power again.

“… UPA mein khalbali machi hai (there is commotion in UPA). SP, BSP and Congress had looted the country and the people saw it before 2014 … Mamata Banerjee and Chandrababu Naidu are also forging ‘thug bandhan’ to challenge Narendra Modi as another five years of Modi rule will clear the path for jail of corrupt leaders,” he told a rally here.

Addressing the BJPs Shakti Kendra Sammelan at Harmu ground here, Singh asked the BJP workers to “remain alert” and termed the Lok Sabha elections as “dharam yudh” (battle of righteousness).

He accused the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal of “disrespecting” institutions like the CBI and “killing” BJP workers in that state.

Singh said Jharkhand had seen nine governments during the first 14-years since its creation in 2000 during which many scams were reported and even an Independent MLA (Madhu Koda) became the chief minister.

The present Raghubar Das government has done wonders in Jharkhand during the last four years of rule, he said.

“Had I taken some of the yojanas (schemes) of the Raghubar Das government and implemented them in Chhattisgarh then I would have won for the fourth term,” he said.

Warning the BJP workers against “over confidence”, Singh took a cricketing anecdote on the BJP loosing power in Chhattisgarh saying, “It was not the Congress, we took self-wicket in Chhattisgarh (in the assembly polls last year).”

Crediting the Raghubar Das government for driving out naxalites, Singh said peace was necessary for development.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.