Varanasi: Congress` decision to field a local MLA against Narendra Modi in Varanasi appears to have backfired as the party`s nominee finished a distant third besides running the risk of forfeiting his deposit.
Ajay Rai secured only 68,080 votes in the constituency where more than 10 lakh people had exercised their franchise on May 12.
With less than one-sixth of the total number of votes cast in his favour, Rai may forfeit his deposit as per Election Commission rules.
Rai, who had been with the BJP and the Samajwadi Party before hopping over to the Congress, appears to have failed to secure the 2.5 lakh Muslim votes in the constituency, many of whom may have voted for Aam Aadmi Party`s Arvind Kejriwal who secured 1.79 lakh votes and finished as the runners-up.
Rai`s dismal performance also suggests that the attempt by the Congress to wean away more than one lakh voters of Bhumihar community may not have worked.