ALSO READIn Mulayam's den, Rahul Gandhi takes Akhilesh to task on public demand Akhilesh rides away with SP's bicycle, EC rejects Mulayam's claims Lok Dal names Mulayam Singh Yadav as star campaigner I am fine with Akhilesh, says Mulayam but admits there are fissures in SP Mulayam's olive branch to rebellious son Akhilesh, says he will be CM
Congress on Thursday dismissed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's charge that the party had made a bid on Mulayam Singh Yadav's life, saying the word 'murder' was synonymous with Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah.
"The word 'murder' is synonymous with Modi and (Amit) Shah. The killing spree started with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by RSS. We are Gandhians from the core of our heart and firm believer of non-violence," AICC General Secretary and in-charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad told a news conference here.
He was reacting to Modi's remark on the issue of "assassination attempt" on Mulayam in 1984 allegedly involving a Congress leader, which was aimed at driving a wedge into the fledging SP-Congress alliance.
Modi had said this at an election rally in Kannauj on Wednesday and questioned SP chief Akhilesh Yadav as to how he could form a coalition with "those who tried to murder" his father.
The Prime Minister had also said Akhilesh lacked experience and hence did not know, unlike his father, how "cunning Congress people are".
Ahead of the third phase of Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, he exuded confidence that the coalition would bag over 300 seats and storm to power.
Asked when Priyanka Gandhi Vadra would campaign, Azad said, "She would definitely do so. Priyanka is already looking after deployment of party leaders across the length and breadth of UP."
"Have you seen the Army Chief going to the border to fight the enemy? He monitors everything from his office," he said, referring to Priyanka's role in the party campaign.
Azad accused BJP and BSP of having a tacit understanding and alleged that Mayawati had transferred her party's votes to BJP after she got afraid of the fundamentalist elements.
"Congress is of the view that there should be no use of religion in politics and electioneering," he said.
On the issue of both SP and Congress candidates still in the fray at certain seats, Azad said his party would withdraw its candidate from that constituency where it is weak and SP will do the same at other places.
"If any candidate is defiant, he or she will be expelled," he said.