Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday attacked the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance for fielding a rape accused from the Ghosi Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh. Addressing an election rally in Mau, Modi said the Samajwadi Party has a history of doing so. “But Behenji, [Mayawati] will you seek votes for such candidates?” he asked.

The alliance has fielded BSP candidate Atul Rai from the parliamentary seat. He, however, has reportedly gone missing since May 1 when an FIR was lodged by a college student accusing him of sexual assault.

Rai’s lawyers moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday seeking a stay on his arrest till May 23 when the Lok Sabha election results are declared. A vacation bench of the top court will hear the petition on Friday.

Mayawati has defended Rai’s candidature, reported IANS. During a rally on Wednesday, the BSP chief said Rai was a victim of a conspiracy by the BJP. “It is our responsibility to get Atul Rai elected and defeat the conspiracy against him,” she had said.

In Mau, Modi further attacked the SP-BSP alliance on various women’s issues. He accused the two parties of not securing women’s rights. “We brought in the law against triple talaq but they made sure that the bill was stalled,” claimed Modi.

The prime minister upped the ante against Mayawati, and said that he thought she would criticise West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for calling UP-Bihar, Purvanchal people outsiders. “But this did not happen,” Modi said. “Because she [Mayawati] is not bothered about you. She is busy playing political games.”

Speaking about the violence at Amit Shah’s Kolkata roadshow, Modi promised that the BJP will install a grand statue of Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar at the same spot where his bust was desecrated. Modi also blamed “goons of Trinamool Congress” for unleashing violence at the roadshow on Tuesday.

The Ghosi constituency will vote in the last phase of elections on May 19. The seat is currently held by BJP’s Harinarayan Rajbhar. The saffron party has given him the ticket once again.