Jaipur: The Congress party on Friday said that it was Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's own decision to not contest Lok Sabha election from Varanasi seat.
Speaking at a press conference in Jaipur, Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda said that Priyanka has "other responsibilities" and she thought to "focus on her job and not on just one seat."
"It is Priyanka ji's decision. She herself thought that there are a lot of responsibilities. She thought that rather than concentrating on one seat, she should focus on the job she has at hand. So that decision was finally hers and she decided it," Pitroda was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Sam Pitroda, Indian Overseas Congress Chief: It (not contesting from Varanasi) was Priyanka ji's decision, she has other responsibilities. She thought rather than concentrating on one seat she should focus on the job she has at hand. So, that decision was her and she decided it. pic.twitter.com/65hTQurplT
— ANI (@ANI) April 26, 2019
Speculations were rife that Priyanka would fight the election from Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She had earlier said that she would be happy to contest if Congress president Rahul Gandhi (her brother) tells her to.
However, on Thursday, on the day when PM Modi held a massive roadshow in Varanasi, Congress announced that Ajay Rai will be the party's candidate from the temple town.
Rai is a five-time legislator and in 2014 too, he contested from Varanasi seat on Congress ticket against PM Modi.
Meanwhile, earlier today, PM Modi filed his nomination from Varanasi in the presence of top National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies and North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) leaders.
In Varanasi, polling will be held in the last phase on May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.