It’s official now – Congress is not fielding Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from Varanasi. It’s finally decided that Congress is going to field Ajay Rai once again from Varanasi. Priyanka had earlier said that she would be happy to face the Prime Minister from Varanasi if the party decides.
Last week, Rahul Gandhi responded to a question on whether he plans to field his sister from the temple town. He answered, “I will leave you in suspense. Suspense is not always a bad thing.” Actually, Priyanka herself triggered the speculations when she responded to a question on whether her electoral debut will be from Rae Bareli, which is Sonia Gandhi’s constituency. She answered, “Why not Varanasi?”.
Ajay Rai was fielded in 2014 against Modi and Arvind Kejriwal. He finished third behind them.
This move is definitely not what anyone had expected. BJP leader, GVL Narasimha Rao, is mocking her by claiming that she ‘chickened out’. Anyone would say. Retreating is not a bad option but triggering speculations of a fight and leaving the arena without even contesting would definitely hamper the image of Congress.