New Delhi: Breaking silence over her decision to not contest the Lok Sabha elections 2019 against PM Narendra Modi from Varanasi parliamentary constituency, Congress general secretary from eastern Uttar Pradesh Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday said that she has ‘responsibility of looking after 41 seats and could not focus on just one’.

“I took advice of all senior leaders of our party and colleagues in UP. They firmly felt that I have responsibility here of looking after 41 seats. I felt that they (candidates) would be disappointed if I focused on only one place,” said Vadra on being asked about her nomination from Varanasi seat.

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Earlier, there was a buzz that Priyanka would fight the election from the prestigious seat. She had sent ripples across the political spectrum with her reply to party workers’ request to contest the ongoing general elections from her mother and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi’s parliamentary constituency Rae Bareli. Responding to them, she asked, “Why not Varanasi?”

A few days back, while speaking to news agency ANI, Priyanka had reiterated that she is willing to contest from Varanasi if the Congress president asks her to.Congress chief Rahul Gandhi added fuel to it by saying he would like to keep the suspense.

But on April 25, putting all rumours to rest, Congress  party declared Ajay Rai as its candidate from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In 2014 as well, Ajay Rai had unsuccessfully contested the elections against PM Modi. He came a distant third by polling 75,614 votes as opposed to Modi who won by polling 5,81,022 as against the first runner-up Arvind Kejriwal (AAP) , who bagged 2,09,238 votes.