Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday claimed that her party’s candidates will not cut into the votes of the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party Rashtriya Lok Dal alliance in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh, PTI reported. Gandhi said that her party had selected candidates who would be able to defeat the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.

“We have carefully chosen candidates so that either Congress wins or they cut into BJP’s votes,” Gandhi told reporters in Uttar Pradesh. “Congress is not at all cutting into votes of the ‘UP gathbandhan’.”

She refuted claims that she was afraid to contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi. “If Priyanka Gandhi gets scared, she will sit at home and not do politics,” Gandhi said. “I am in politics for good and will be there.”

The Congress leader criticised the BJP for its “obsession with the Gandhi family”. “When we come here we do not talk about our family,” she said. “We talk about problems of people, but they target our family in half of their speeches.”

Gandhi said she is focused on strengthening the Congress’ presence in Uttar Pradesh. She, however, added that this was not a preparation for Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2022. Gandhi said the Congress party was only concentrating on 2019 General Elections.

The Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party had finalised an alliance in January, but left the Congress out of it, saying that including the party would help the BJP in the polls. The Samajwadi Party will contest 37 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, and Bahujan Samaj Party will stand from 38 constituencies. The alliance is not contesting from two seats, Rae Bareli and Amethi, which are held by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.

BJP calls Congress a ‘vote katua’ party

Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Sambit Patra called the Congress a “vote katua” party, PTI reported. The term is a reference for a party whose votes may not result in a win but may impact the electoral result in favour of one candidate against another.

“The Congress party is not contesting elections to win but to cut into votes of BJP,” Patra said. “Today the grand old party has become a vote katua party. There is also confusion about the Congress as to whether it is in the grand alliance or not.”