Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, said he gave his consent to his wife and Congress general secretary (UP East) Priyanka Gandhi to contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi in Lok Sabha elections 2019, according to a report.
Speaking to India TV, Robert Vadra said: People are voting for change today. Priyanka is ready to do anything the party leadership wants her to do."
According to recent media reports, Priyanka Gandhi is likely to contest from Varanasi. However, the party is yet to announce the same. Modi is the sitting MP from Varanasi. He had won from the seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. According to reports, Priyanka Gandhi is ready to take on PM Modi from Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi. However, she has left the final call on Congress president Rahul Gandhi.
BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi said the party will wait for her to file nomination. "Let the Congress field her. The BJP is ready," she said at a press conference on Saturday.
Interestingly, recently, posters urging Priyanka Gandhi to contest the coming general elections from Varanasi came up in the holy city. The local unit of the Congress too demanded that Priyanka, who has formally entered politics in January, and was appointed the general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, be pitted directly against Modi to galvanise voters of UP and neighbouring states.
Priyanka Gandhi also dropped a hint about her contesting the elections. Recently, she suggested taking the poll battle to PM Modi's constituency. When party workers in Raebareli requested Priyanka Gandhi to stand for elections, she responded by asking if she should contest from Varanasi. Priyanka Gandhi's visit to Amethi and Raebareli has been timed to ensure that booth level workers remain energised from the start as she would be paying less attention to the high profile constituencies eventually.
In the past, she has camped for weeks in advance to ensure emphatic wins for Rahul and Sonia.
However, on April 7, senior Congress leader Rajeev Shukla has said no decision was taken yet about Priyanka Gandhi contesting the election against Modi. Shukla claimed that under the leadership of Vadra, who is the party's incharge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, the Congress would do well in the Lok Sabha election and sweep the 2022 assembly election.
Shukla said Vadra was getting a very good response from the public wherever she is going for campaigning. "In the past 20 years, the Congress has become very weak in Uttar Pradesh. The party has to be strengthened under her leadership for 2022."
(With PTI inputs)