Priyanka decided not to contest from Varanasi: Pitroda

Priyanka decided not to contest from Varanasi: Pitroda

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. PTI file photo

Congress leader Sam Pitroda on Friday said it was party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s own decision not to contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.

Speculation over Priyanka Gandhi’s electoral debut from Modi’s constituency ended Thursday when the Congress fielded Ajay Rai, a political lightweight, from the Uttar Pradesh constituency.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley then took a dig at the Congress, claiming that Priyanka Gandhi had “quietly chickened out” of the contest.

"The party president had left the final decision on her,” Pitroda said when reporters asked him about Rahul Gandhi not fielding his sister from the high-profile constituency.

“She decided that she has several responsibilities. She decided that rather than concentrating on one seat, she should focus on the job she has at hand,” Pitroda, who heads the Indian Overseas Congress, said.

“So that decision was finally hers and she decided it," he said.

Speculation over a Priyanka Gandhi-Modi face-off was triggered last month when the Congress leader in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh herself hinted at the possibility.

Answering questions from reporters, Priyanka Gandhi has said she would contest if the party asked her.

When questioned on the speculation, Congress president Rahul Gandhi recently said, "I will leave you in suspense. Suspense is not always a bad thing."

At his Jaipur press conference Pitroda accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of not fulfilling its promises and claimed that people’s freedom is being curtailed under its government.

"When questions are asked, the government gets angry,” he said, referring to the air strike against Pakistan after a terror attack against CRPF jawans in Kashmir.

Who are you to call us traitors? We will say whatever we have to say,” he said, targeting the BJP.

He said the BJP government had failed in generating employment.

"We will have to create at least 10 crore jobs in five to seven years. In the past five years, not a single new job was created but 50 lakh jobs reduced,” Pitroda claimed.

"Creating jobs is a difficult job which they don’t know,” he said, claiming that the Congress has a better record on this.

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