LS POLLS: Priyanka Gandhi not to contest polls in Varanasi: Congress names Ajay Rai as nominee


NEW DELHI: Congress general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, will not contest the Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi — where Prime Minister Narenda Modi is set to enter the fray on Friday. The Congress nominee for the seat will be Ajay Rai, who had come third in the previous poll from Varanasi.

The announcement came on a day Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a road show in Varanasi.

Priyanka had stated this week that she was ready to fight the polls from Varanasi if party chief, her brother Rahul Gandhi, asked her to. However, the Congress leadership apparently weighed the negative fall-out from such a foray. If she is defeated in Varanasi by PM Modi, it would cast a shadow over her political prospects. 

She had entered politics only a couple of months ago. Also, her chances of winning the seat against such a powerful rival was weak.

Perceptions are that Rahul Gandhi would vacate the Amethi seat after he wins Wayanad, and set up Priyanka there for the resultant byelection.  –IHN-NN

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