Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Tuesday expelled the party’s vice president and national coordinator Jai Prakash Singh from his post for his remarks against Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday.

Singh, while projecting Mayawati as the prime ministerial candidate for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, had said that Rahul Gandhi can never become the prime minister because his mother is a foreigner. “Rahul looks more like his mother than his father,” Singh was quoted as saying at a conference for party workers in Lucknow. “And his mother is a foreigner, thus he can never be prime minister.”

In response, Mayawati said Singh’s comments were his personal comments and sacked him as the party’s vice president, ANI reported. He spoke against BSP’s ideology, she said. Mayawati also cautioned other party members against speaking about any alliance until the BSP formally announces a tie-up with a particular party. “They should leave it to the high command,” she said.

Explaining why he thought Mayawati would be a better choice than Rahul Gandhi for the post of prime minister, Jai Prakash Singh had said that she has more credentials, according to the Hindustan Times. “Mayawati is a grassroots leader who has served as Uttar Pradesh chief minister four times,” he said.

“After playing a pivotal role in making HD Kumaraswamy the chief minister of Karnataka, Mayawati has emerged as a powerful politician,” Singh was quoted as saying. “She is the only ‘dabang’ [fearless] leader who can stop the winning chariot of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in the electoral battle.”

Singh added: “She is not only a towering Dalit leader but also has the support of all the communities. Time has come when she should be made the prime minister after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.”

BSP’s Uttar Pradesh chief RS Kushwaha on Tuesday said that during the oath-taking ceremony of HD Kumaraswamy in Bengaluru on May 23, the leaders of Opposition parties rallied behind Mayawati. “This clearly indicates that she is playing a pivotal role in anti-Modi alliance,” Kushwaha said.

While the Congress has not yet reacted to the statement, the Bharatiya Janata Party said anyone can dream of becoming a prime minister these days. “A leader with 44 seats like Rahul Gandhi is dreaming of becoming the prime minister and a leader like Mayawati with no seat is also dreaming of becoming the prime minister,” BJP Rajya Sabha leader Anil Baluni said.