The Congress on Thursday announced Ajay Rai as its candidate against Narendra Modi from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. The announcement of Rai, who had finished third in 2014, ended the speculations over the AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi to be fielded against Modi.
Modi had defeated AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal by a margin of over 3.5 lakh votes in 2014. Rai, who was contesting on the Congress ticket had secured little over 75,000 votes.
Modi is in Varanasi today to lead a mega road show before filing his nomination on Friday. A statement by the party said that Modi will start his from the Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya’s statue and end at Dashashwamedh Ghat.
The party also announced Madhusudan Tiwari’s name from Gorakhpur parliamentary seat, which has been a stronghold of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The Congress has so far announced candidates from 424 Lok Sabha seats.