Union Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday referred to Uttar Pradesh Congress Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as a thief’s wife and dismissed queries about the impact of her entry into politics on the Lok Sabha elections, PTI reported. She was speaking to reporters in Chhattisgarh’s Durg.

Bharti’s comments were an apparent reference to Gandhi’s husband and businessman Robert Vadra who is currently embroiled in a money laundering case. When asked to comment on speculation that Gandhi will contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi, Bharati said, “It is a democracy, anybody can fight election from anywhere”.

“Why will she [Priyanka Gandhi] have an impact,” Bharti said. “Her husband is facing theft charges. She will be seen the way India sees a thief’s wife.”

The BJP minister claimed Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest the elections from the two constituencies of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh and Wayanad in Kerala was proof that he had accepted his defeat.

Bharti was in Durg to campaign for her party’s candidate before the election on April 23.