The Hush Post | 15:20 | Two-minute read
The Congress has released its’ fresh list of nine candidates for Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. However, the party kept up the suspense over Varanasi constituency and left the speculations doing rounds that AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi might contest against Prime Minster Narendra Modi.
According to the sources, internal surveys have been conducted to assess party’s strength in both Allahabad and Varanasi constituencies, where the party has not declared its candidate yet. The party has shifted Rajesh Mishra, the winner in 2004 from Varanasi to neighbouring Salempur constituency. In 2014, party’s Ajai Rai was routed.
Priyanka Gandhi, who entered party politics this year, is seen to be the most effective candidate against PM Modi. However, a section of Congress believes that this may be a losing battle for debutant Priyanka, the party in charge of UP East.
On the other hand, some sources say that Priyanka eventually may not contest from Varanasi and her plan is to add some heat to the own contest against PM Modi who had adopted the constituency as his own with ‘Ganga ka beta’ vow in 2014. Though, by some sections in the Congress is being weighed a candidate similar to what Smriti Irani was against Rahul Gandhi. After all, Smriti brought down the victory margin of Rahul from 3.80 lakh to 1.07 lakh from Amethi.
In the 2014, the Congress vote-share had fallen to a rather ordinary seven per cent, followed by BSP at six and SP at four. Riding the Ayodhya temple movement, the BJP has won from Varanasi six out of seven times between 1991 and 2014, except 2004 election when the Congress won the seat.