General Election 2019
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Congress fields Ajay Rai, not Priyanka Gandhi from Varanasi against PM Narendra Modi

File photo: Ajay Rai Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 25, 2019, 12.49 PM (IST)

The Congress on Thursday fielded Ajay Rai to contest polls against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, ending speculation on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra fighting polls from the UP town.

Speculation on Priyanka Gandhi making her political debut from Varanasi was fuelled after Congress president Rahul Gandhi, to a question on whether he planned to field his sister against PM Modi, said last week, "I will leave you in suspense. Suspense is not always a bad thing."

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, PM Modi had won from Varanasi with 5,81,022 votes.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal, Ajay Rai, BSP's Vijay Prakash Jaiswal and Samajwadi Party’s Kailash Chaurasia had polled 2,09,238, 75,614, 60,579 and 45,291 votes respectively.

The combined votes polled by these opposition candidates was 3,90,722, still 1,90,300 short of what Modi got. 

The Congress also fielded Madhusudan Tiwari from Gorakhpur against BJP's actor-turned-politician Ravi Kishan.

(With inputs from PTI)