Priyanka Gandhi denies pulling out of Varanasi race against Modi, says only went by advice of party leaders

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New Delhi | Published: April 30, 2019 5:31:35 PM

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday vehemently denied pulling out of the much-anticipated contest with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency

lok sabha elections, lok sabha elections 2019Priyanka said she went by the advice of senior leaders and party colleagues. (ANI)

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday vehemently denied pulling out of the much-anticipated contest with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency. Finally breaking her silence on not being named as the Congress candidate from Varanasi, Priyanka said she went by the advice of senior leaders and party colleagues who felt she has a larger responsibility to look after the 41 Lok Sabha seats in the eastern Uttar Pradesh region that she has been handed charge of.

The buzz around a mouth-watering contest between Priyanka and PM Modi fizzled after the Congress party announced the candidature of local heavyweight Ajay Rai as its pick for the temple town. Both Priyanka as well as Congress president Rahul Gandhi had kept the buzz alive as they refused to confirm or deny the Gandhi scion’s candidature. However, on the day Modi held a mega show of strength through a roadshow in Varanasi, Congress chose to announce Rai’s candidature instead of Priyanka’s.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Priyanka clarified that she took advice of all senior leaders of the party and colleagues in UP who “firmly felt” that she has a larger responsibility in UP of looking after 41 seats. “I felt that they (candidates) would be disappointed if I focused on only one place,” Priyanka said. The statement came a day after the alliance of SP, BSP and RLD decided to filed ex-BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav against the PM.

Earlier in the day, she slammed reports of MHA sending a notice to her brother and Congress president Rahul on the issue of citizenship, calling it “rubbish”. Vadra went on to say she never heard of such “nonsense” as everyone knows Rahul Gandhi was born and raised here.

When asked on the notice being issued by MHA, she shot back saying that the entire country knew that Rahul was born and raised before them. The ministry has asked the Congress president to clarify within a fortnight his “factual position” on a complaint that questioned his citizenship status.

The Ministry, in a letter, said it received a representation from senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy suggesting that a company named Backops Limited was registered in Britain in 2003 with Rahul as one of the company’s directors.

An independent candidate also raised an objection against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, however the returning officer declared his nominations papers valid on scrutiny. Amethi will go to polls during the fifth phase on May 6.

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