Priyanka To Take On PM Modi In Varanasi?

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is likely to contest from Varanasi, multiple news outlets reported on Saturday.

Zee News quoting sources said Priyanka is ready to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from this seat after giving it a serious thought.

Republic TV, quoting its sources, said that a camp within the Congress party was hopeful that the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samajwadi Party will also support Priyanka.

She could be fielded as a joint Opposition candidate to take on the PM.

The Week said Priyanka has agreed to contest from Varanasi, and the final decision will be taken by the High Command.

Varanasi goes to polls on May 19.

If indeed, Priyanka is pitted against Modi, the ongoing political campaign could take a new course, shaped by altered political equations. According to political observers, the move could impact the BJP, if not appreciably. The cross-country campaign by the PM might take a hit, as he would be compelled to spend more hours campaigning in his constituency.

Earlier in March, when Priyanka was urged by her party supporters to contest from Rae Bareilly or Amethi, she apparently responded, in a lighter vein, “Why not Varanasi!”

Republic TV said the final call will be taken by Congress president and Priyanka’s brother Rahul.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had also advised Congress president Rahul Gandhi to declare Priyanka as their joint candidate. The NCP, too, has requested Rahul to do the same.

Former BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav, who was sacked after he uploaded a video complaining about the quality of food served to the forces, is also contesting from Varanasi as an Independent candidate. Abhinandan Pathak, who bears a striking resemblance to Modi, has also jumped into the fray as an Independent candidate from there.

In the 2014 polls, Prime Minister Modi had polled 5,81,022 votes, defeating AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal who polled 2,09,238 votes. Modi won by 3,71,784 votes.

Priyanka has already criticised the Modi for not visiting a single village of his Varanasi constituency. “I went to PM Modi’s Varanasi constituency and asked people whether he comes to the constituency. People replied that he does. Then I asked whether he goes to the villages? They said no, he does not go to the villages. So, I asked what does he do during his visits. They said whenever he comes, he holds big meetings, gives speeches and then leaves. Then I asked whether he goes to any village and finds out about people`s welfare? They replied no, he does not go to the villages. So, this is one reality,” she had said.