First Minister Jack McConnell accused the SNP of planning constitutional "chaos and turmoil" within 100 days if they win power at Holyrood.
Jack McConnell said the SNP was seeking conflict with Westminster
He said they were cynically trying to provoke confrontations with Westminster to further the independence cause.
Mr McConnell's attack came after the SNP published its plans for its first 100 days in power.
The SNP's deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon dismissed Mr McConnell's claims as "negative" and "scaremongering".
The 35-page SNP document sets out a range of demands likely to be rejected by Westminster.
These include seeking early talks on transferring to Holyrood responsibility for North Sea oil and seeking "urgent" meetings with Westminster to push for the restoration of £40m worth of allowances which stopped in Scotland with the introduction of free personal care for the elderly.
Mr McConnell said: "This weekend we saw a wake-up call for Scotland. This document is a reminder of what the SNP really stand for.
"It sets out in writing the road they would choose - and it is a route to tax and turmoil."
Mr McConnell said the SNP policies would cost the equivalent of more than £5,000 for every household in Scotland.
He added: "They have made more uncosted promises, more election bribes, designed not for the good of Scotland, not to take our country forward, but to win headlines.
"They have failed the first test of leadership - and Alex Salmond has failed it in particular.
"They have a deliberate and calculated strategy to actively seek out and create conflict with England - to create row after row to make good government impossible.
"They don't actually care if they win any of these arguments - the purpose of the argument is to build the case for independence.
"It's conflict for conflict's sake, and chaos designed to win an independence referendum."
Ms Sturgeon said that Mr McConnell's criticisms confirmed Henry McLeish's description of Labour's campaign as "negative, extreme and London-based".
She added: "The SNP will build credibility in government by delivering a positive and successful policy programme, and we will co-operate with the Westminster government in the interests of Scotland in a range of areas.
"And of course any Scottish government worth its salt will seek to secure progress for Scotland - which Mr McConnell has totally failed to do.
"On issues such as European representation, attendance allowance and Scottish oil, Mr McConnell is more of a London Labour minion than a Scottish first minister.
"The Scottish Executive's own report laid bare how Scotland is ignored by Whitehall on EU matters, and Scottish Ministers are relegated to the ante room - which 'can have a disastrous impact on Executive policy', to quote the report."