Congress briefs media on Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s candidature from Varanasi: All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesperson Ragini Nayak on Thursday addressed reporters in New Delhi to clear the air on party’s decision to not field Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The AICC move came minutes after social media users called the Grand Old Party a bunch of cowards for retreating from battleground Varanasi.

On being questioned if Congress is scared of PM Narendra Modi, Ragini Nayak said the same can be questioned to PM Modi if he is scared of Congress president Rahul Gandhi because he is not contesting from Kerala Wayanad Lok Sabha seat against the Gandhi scion. Ragini said any political candidate is free to contest from any place in the country according to the rule of the land. But it shouldn’t be taken for granted that candidate X is scared of candidate Y because he or she is not contesting from a particular seat.

The Congress Party on Thursday named Ajay Rai instead of party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as its candidate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. Soon after the official announcement, social media users criticised Congress’ decision as they were sure that Priyanka would make her political debut from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.

On being questioned about Ajay Rai’s candidature, Ragini said Rai is a strong candidate and the party decided to field him from Varanasi against Modi after much deliberation.

Launching a scathing attack on Modi, the spokesperson said the prime minister and the BJP have disappointed the people of Varanasi and Kasi on several fronts. While the government has utilised only 20 per cent of the funds meant for the Namami Gange project, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor has failed to see the light of the day, she said.