New Delhi: Finally the decision has been made by the Congress. Priyanka Vadra has backed out from contesting at Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Narendra Modi had won the Varanasi constituency in 2014 with a huge majority of more than 3.5 lakh votes.
The Congress leadership believes that a huge defeat for Priyanka Vadra at the hands of the BJP warhorse might dent Priyanka’s future prospects in national politics. Instead of Priyanka Vadra, the Congress is fielding Ajay Rai.
Ajay Rai was the Congress candidate in Varanasi during 2014 general election. He finished third in the race, behind Aam Admi Party leader Aravind Kejriwal.
Rahul Gandhi himself had set of the speculation of his sister’s candidature. During an interview, when asked of Priyanka’s candidature, the Congress President said, “I will leave you in suspense. Suspense is not a bad thing.”
Adding fuel to the speculation, Priyanka Vadra herself had raised hopes amongst her supporters. In an election rally she had said that she wished to contest from Varanasi. When asked about her wish to contest, she said that if the Congress President asks her to contest then she is ready to contest against Narendra Modi.
However, all the guessing and waiting is over in the Congress camp after the party announced its candidate in Varanasi.
Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party fielded former Congress member, Shalini Yadav, to contest from the temple constituency. Her father-in-law, Shyam Lal Yadav, was a prominent Congress leader in Varanasi and had represented the constituency in the Parliament.
Varanasi goes to the polls on 19 May and the results will be announced on 23 May.