Kolkata: Taking potshots on Priyanka Gandhi's entry into politics ahead of the coming Lok Sabha polls, Bihar Deputy chief minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Sunday said an election is "not a beauty contest" and people will cast their vote on the basis of past performance.

"An election is neither a wrestling match, nor a beauty contest, nor is it a competition of some other type," Modi told reporters in Howrah where he had come to attend a party rally.

He said an election is a political contest. "And in a political contest, people vote on the basis of performance," he said.

Modi's comments did not go down well with the Congress, which countered that the abuses being hurled against the Gandhi family since the announcement that Priyanka Gandhi would enter politics betrayed the panic in the BJP ranks.

"The abuses that are being hurled against the Gandhi family, proves they (the BJP) are afraid of them. They know that this family can upturn the course of Indian politics. So they are making all sorts of comments out of panic," said Rajya Sabha member and former state Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya.

Last Wednesday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi appointed his sister Priyanka as Congress General Secretary and named her in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.