Congress Uttar Pradesh (East) General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said she did not contest from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency because she did not want to neglect the 41 seats where she is spearheading the party's campaign in the state.
Clarifying why she did not contest, she said: "I took the advice of all senior leaders of our party and colleagues in UP. They firmly felt that I have a responsibility here to look after 41 seats. I felt that they (candidates) would be disappointed if I focus on only one place."
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There were speculations that she may make her electoral debut against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency. Even Priyanka, when asked a few weeks back about the possibility of contesting the election from Varanasi, had not denied the same. Several party leaders had said that the final decision in this regard will be taken by Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
However, on April 25, Congress once again named Ajai Rai, its losing candidate in the 2014 election, as its nominee for the seat. Rai had led the charge of the Congress against Modi in Varanasi in the 2014 election but had lost by a huge margin and even forfeited his deposit.