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Priyanka Gandhi not to contest from Varanasi as Congress repeats Ajay Rai

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New Delhi, Apr 25: Ending all the suspense over Priyanka Gandhi, Congress on Thursday fielded Ajay Rai once again from Varanasi for the Lok Sabha elections against Narendra Modi.

File photo of Priyanka Gandhi

Earlier, Priyanka Gandhi and her brother Rahul Gandhi, the Congress president, had dropped hints about a gigantic Varanasi clash ever since the 47-year-old joined politics in January, and was quickly appointed one of the two general secretaries in charge of the Congress campaign in Uttar Pradesh, India's most politically vital state with 80 seats.

Her launch was aimed at galvanizing the party in a state that once gave the Congress many prime ministers but has over the years moved on to other big players.

Priyanka Gandhi slams Smriti Irani for distributing shoes in Amethi; terms it "insult" to people

Priyanka Gandhi was given charge of eastern UP, which includes Varanasi. While campaigning in UP, Priyanka Gandhi has often spoken about what she calls PM Modi's neglect of Varanasi as he roamed the world.

In 2014, the Congress had fielded Ajai Rai against PM Modi. He had finished third in the contest, after PM Modi and Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal, who polled around 2 lakh votes - way behind the Prime Minister's 5.8 lakh.

Nominations for Varanasi can be filed between April 22 and 29; the temple town votes on May 19 in the last phase of the national elections.

Varanasi Fact Check
Year
Candidate's Name Party Result Vote Vote Share Margin
2014
Narendra Modi BJP Winner 5,81,022 56% 3,71,784
Arvind Kejriwal AAAP Runner Up 2,09,238 20% 0
2009
Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi BJP Winner 2,03,122 31% 17,211
Mukhtar Ansari BSP Runner Up 1,85,911 28% 0
2004
Dr. Rajesh Kumar Mishra INC Winner 2,06,904 33% 57,436
Shankar Prasad Jaiswal BJP Runner Up 1,49,468 24% 0
1999
Shankar Prasad Jaiswal BJP Winner 2,11,955 34% 52,859
Rajesh Kumar Mishra INC Runner Up 1,59,096 25% 0
1998
Shankar Prasad Jaiswal BJP Winner 2,77,232 43% 1,51,946
Deena Nath Singh Yadav CPM Runner Up 1,25,286 19% 0
1996
Shankar Prasad Jaiswal BJP Winner 2,50,991 45% 1,00,692
Raj Kishore CPM Runner Up 1,50,299 27% 0
1991
Sheesh Chandra Dixit BJP Winner 1,86,333 41% 40,439
Raj Kishore CPM Runner Up 1,45,894 32% 0
1989
Anil Shastri JD Winner 2,68,196 62% 1,71,603
Shyam Lal Yadav INC Runner Up 96,593 22% 0
1984
Shyam Lal Yadava INC Winner 1,53,076 42% 94,430
Udal CPI Runner Up 58,646 16% 0
1980
Kamalapati INC(I) Winner 1,29,063 37% 24,735
Raj Narain JNP(S) Runner Up 1,04,328 30% 0
1977
Chandra Shekher BLD Winner 2,33,194 66% 1,71,854
Raja Ram INC Runner Up 61,340 17% 0
1971
Raja Ram Shastri INC Winner 1,38,789 47% 85,848
Kamla Prasad Singh BJS Runner Up 52,941 18% 0
1967
S. N. Singh CPM Winner 1,05,784 38% 18,167
R. Singh INC Runner Up 87,617 31% 0
1962
Raghunath Singh INC Winner 1,04,682 40% 45,907
Raghuvira JS Runner Up 58,775 22% 0
1957
Raghunath Singh INC Winner 1,31,087 54% 71,926
Sheomangal Ram IND Runner Up 59,161 25% 0

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