Mayawati factor stalls Cong plan to declare Priyanka for Varanasi
New Delhi: The factor of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati has put Congress high command in a tizzy to put AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra against Prime Minister Narendra Modi in high profile Varanasi constituency.
Priyanka made her intention clear to contest against PM Modi if the party high command decides to field her from the high profile seat. What made Congress leadership indecisive on her candidature is reluctance from the BSP supremo Mayawati to support Priyanka as a consensus opposition candidate against the Prime Minister.
Political managers of the grand old party are trying hard to convince BSP supremo to withdraw Mahagathbandhan candidate from Varanasi. The party is still waiting for a green signal from both SP and BSP leadership. Samajwadi Party's Shalini Yadav has been fielded from Varanasi.
Varanasi goes to poll on the last phase of the Lok Sabha poll on May 19. PM Modi is scheduled to reach Varanasi on Thursday to have a grand road show with all NDA partners prior to filing nomination on Friday.
Sources from Congress party indicated that Mayawati is very apprehensive about the candidature of Priyanka Gandhi as it might create an atmosphere whole of eastern UP in favour of other Congress candidates who are fighting against Mahagatbandhan candidates.
Dalit and upper caste may switch over to Congress party thereby damaging BSP'S prospects in the state. This time Mayawati is fighting her battle almost for the existence of her relevance in the Hindi heartland.
For last few days Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had said at least three times that she would contest from Varanasi "if the party asks me to do so." She has also conveyed strongly that she is not worried about losing or winning. She wants to take on PM Modi to convey a message to the whole country and about an idea of India what they cherished since freedom struggle days.
On Monday, the Samajwadi Party had fielded Shalini Yadav, a Bhumihar by birth who married to a Yadav family as an opposition candidate. Shalini, who had recently joined SP, is a daughter-in-law of a former Congress lawmaker. Congress leadership tried to reach out to Akhilesh Yadav to sponsor Priyanka Gandhi Vadera's candidature from Varanasi.
It is learnt that though SP leadership is not so opposed to the idea but they fear backlash from BSP who might break the alliance at the last moment. Therefore, the candidature of Priyanka is still hanging in balance, but Congress leadership has made their mind even if Priyanka does not contest they would put up a candidate against PM Modi in Varanasi.