• search
For Varanasi Updates
Allow Notification  

Who is Ajay Rai? The Congressman contesting against Narendra Modi

|

New Delhi, Apr 25: Ending weeks of speculation about a potential heavyweight battle between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi in Varanasi, the party on Thursday announced its decision to field five-time UP MLA Ajay Rai instead.

This is the second time Congress has chosen Ajay Rai as its candidate for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. Modi defeated Ajay Rai with a record number of votes in 2014 elections.

Who is Ajay Rai? The Congressman contesting against Narendra Modi

Born in Varanasi to Parvati Devi Rai and Surendra Rai, Ajay is known as a local bahubali (strongman). He began his political career as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party's student wing. He won the Legislative Assembly elections from the Kolasla constituency three times in a row between 1996 and 2007 on a BJP ticket.

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

Rai left the party after being denied a Lok Sabha ticket. He then joined the Samajwadi Party and unsuccessfully contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Subsequently, he won the 2009 Legislative Assembly by-election from the Kolasla constituency as an independent. He then joined the Indian National Congress.

After the Kolasla constituency ceased to exist post-delimitation, he won the 2012 Assembly elections from the newly created Pindra constituency, which comprises a sizeable portion of the former Kolasla constituency. He has also contested the assembly elections as an Independent candidate from Varanasi.

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

In 2015, Rai was arrested for causing violence and arson in Varanasi during a ban on idol immersion in Ganga.

In this uphill task of defeating Narendra Modi, Congress is once again banking on a grassroots man who has a strong Varanasi connect.

For Daily Alerts
Get Instant News Updates
Enable
x
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Oneindia sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Oneindia website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more