Should I contest from Varanasi, asks Priyanka GandhiLast updated on Mar 29, 2019, 11:17 am
On Thursday, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was suggested by party workers in Raebareli to contest from the constituency, and the general secretary of Congress had a surprising answer.
Priyanka said, "Why not Varanasi?" and laughed, sparking off rumors of a showdown with PM Narendra Modi, who is seeking a re-election from the holy town.
Earlier, Priyanka said she would contest polls if the party wants.
PM Modi's Varanasi candidature helped BJP sweep UP in 2014
PM Modi fought elections from Varanasi in 2014 after the constituency was vacated by BJP stalwart Murli Manohar Joshi.
The decision worked out well for BJP which ended up winning 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP.
With the same aspirations in mind, BJP sent its star-campaigner PM Modi to Varanasi again. Notably, in the SP-BSP alliance, Varanasi fell into SP's lap.
Priyanka kept herself busy with campaigning
Meanwhile, Priyanka, who was made in-charge of Congress for UP East months ago, hasn't been fielded from any constituency in the anticipated elections yet.
For the last two days, she campaigned rigorously in Amethi and Raebareli for brother Rahul Gandhi and mother Sonia, respectively.
Priyanka said she told her mother not to worry as she would handle the work in her constituency.
Congress cadres want Priyanka to be part of big game
When Priyanka stepped into active politics, after being in backstage for years, it was widely suggested that she might contest from Raebareli and her mother might retire.
But later, Congress' list revealed the party is not willing to change candidates from their bastions.
Meanwhile, Congress workers believe if Priyanka jumps into the poll arena, it will boost the party's poll prospects significantly.
Would like to work for the party, Priyanka had said
"If my party asks me to contest the polls, I will definitely do so. But my personal wish is to work for the party's organization as a lot of work needs to be done," Priyanka had said earlier when asked about contesting polls.
Will Varanasi witness the most dramatic battle this time?
To recall, in 2014, Congress gave Varanasi's ticket to Ajay Rai who suffered a massive defeat. Notably, in UP, Congress won just two seats and managed to retain just its bastions.
Understanding that UP can't be taken lightly, Congress sent its trump card there.
While she hasn't been able to make a difference till now, Priyanka's Varanasi candidature might turn tables for Congress.