The Congress has ended the heated speculations about its general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s candidacy against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi parliamentary constituency. The party on Thursday, April 25, named Ajay Rai, who stood third in the same seat in the 2014 elections.
The news must have come as great disappointment to the media, as there was palpable excitement in the news room at the possibility of a Modi-Priyanka fight.
Inf act, all the excitement had started when Priyanka herself questioned, “why not Varanasi?” when asked by the media if she would contest the Lok Sabha polls during her poll campaign in Uttar Pradesh in March. In recent weeks, reporters would repeatedly ask her if she would fight against Modi, and she always gave the impression that she was ready to. “If Rahul Gandhi asks me to contest, I will,” she would say.
At the time she has been directly targeting Narendra Modi in her poll speeches, which again had added to the speculation.
Priyanka’s husband Robert Vadra had also claimed that his wife was ready to fight the election from Varanasi. Now, announcing Ajay Rai’s candidacy, the Congress has made it clear that the party is not ready to use its trump card yet.
Varanasi will go to polls on May 19 in the seventh and last phase of elections for the 17th Lok Sabha. And the results will be announced on may 23.