Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday back Rahul Gandhi’s “dalali” comment against Narendra Modi, and said he must have made the comment after “much thinking”. The Congress vice-president had accused prime minister Modi of exploiting the lives of Indian soldiers and politicising their deaths, after the Army conducted surgical strikes along the Line of Control with Pakistan.

Yadav added that Gandhi must have “some information” for him to make those remarks, PTI reported. He also took a jibe at Modi, who had attended ongoing Dussehra festivities in Uttar Pradesh. Yadav said, “Had there been elections in Bihar, he would have slayed Ravan there,” adding that there should be no politics over in the festival. Modi will be in Lucknow on Tuesday.

About the Army’s military operation on September 29, Yadav said, “Ultimately, the poor lost their lives, the farmers are dying, their sons are dying, so what do they know about surgical strike?” Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections will be held in 2017.

Gandhi’s remarks that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was “profiteering” (dalali) from the deaths of soldiers, had drawn a lot of criticism from the party and leaders across the country. Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had earlier supported the Centre’s decision to conduct the strikes.