Facing flak from Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati over her remarks that the Congress candidates will cut into the BJP's votes in Uttar Pradesh wherever they were not strong enough to win, Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday said that she would rather die than benefit the BJP.
“I have said very clearly that Congress is fighting this election on its own strength. Our candidates are fighting strongly in most constituencies. I have said that I would rather die than benefit the BJP. I have made it extremely clear in all my research and in all the work that we have done to choose candidates that are strongly fighting or cutting BJP votes,” Priyanka was quoted by ANI as saying.
Priyanka’s response came after BSP chief Mayawati attacked the Congress alleging that it was helping the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
"Like the BJP, the Congress has started saying absurd things about the SP-BSP alliance. It is clear that both (Congress, BJP) have a tacit understanding and are contesting against our alliance unitedly," Mayawati said on Thursday, while appealing to the voters not to waste their votes by supporting the Congress.
Addressing a poll rally in Barabanki on Wednesday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had alleged that the control of Mayawati and Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav was in the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Priyanka had on Wednesday said that the Congress has fielded candidates either with prospects of victory or having potential to damage the BJP's chances.
On the political landscape in Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka said, "We have carefully chosen candidates so that either Congress wins or they cut into BJP's votes. Congress is not at all cutting into votes of the 'UP gathbandhan'."
The BJP, which had won a whopping 71 seats out of 80 in UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, is facing stiff challenge from the SP-BSP-RLD alliance this time. On the other hand, the Congress, after being elbowed out of the opposition alliance, has announced to go it alone in the politically crucial state.