Varanasi: Hitting back at Rahul Gandhi for his remark that an elephant is eating up central funds meant for the poor in Uttar Pradesh, BSP on Sunday said instead it was a "magical hand" siphoning off the funds and stashing them abroad.

"Rahul's allegations that the BSP's magical elephant is eating away money sent by the Centre for the poor is baseless as it is not the BSP's elephant, but a magical hand is siphoning off funds and salting them away in foreign tax havens," BSP National General Secretary Satish Chandra Mishra said at poll rallies at Palhipatti and Basani here.

Calling the Congress leader an outsider in Uttar Pradesh, he said, "Rahul is neither from Uttar Pradesh nor he was born here, then what he is doing here? He was brought up and educated abroad, he has nothing to do with the people of the state."

Criticizing Rahul for his comments in which he had allegedly referred to people of Uttar Pradesh in Maharashtra as "beggars", the BSP leader said, "it will prove costly for him in the assembly elections."