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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Congress UP Chief Ajay Rai renominated from Varanasi despite previous defeats to PM Modi
Photo courtesy: BJP X page | video grab

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Congress UP Chief Ajay Rai renominated from Varanasi despite previous defeats to PM Modi

India Blooms news Service | @indiablooms | 24 Mar 2024, 03:56 am

New Delhi: The Congress Saturday announced its candidate for the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming elections—the party's Uttar Pradesh (UP) chief Ajay Ra, marking his third direct contest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This decision comes as part of the party's fourth list, which includes a total of 46 candidates, with nine being allocated for UP.

Ajay Rai contested in the 2014 and 2019 general elections as a Congress nominee and faced defeat on both occasions against PM Modi, who is now seeking a historic third term with a significant mandate for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

In the 2014 elections, PM Modi secured victory with a vote share of over 56%, while. Rai managed to accumulate around 75,000 votes. Arvind Kejriwal came in second with a margin of over 3.5 lakh votes.

In the 2019 elections, the battle for Varanasi was a three-way competition between PM Narendra Modi, Shalini Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, and Ajay Rai of the Congress.

Once again, PM Modi emerged victorious with a vote share of over 63%.

Yadav claimed the second position with nearly 18% of the vote share, while Rai garnered around 14%.

Varanasi has been a stronghold for the BJP, with its candidates winning consistently since 1991, except in 2004 when Rajesh Kumar Mishra of the Congress won the seat.

Interestingly, Rai, a prominent figure in the local political scene, started his political career with the BJP's student wing and represented the party in three terms in the UP assembly from 1996 to 2007.

However, he left BJP after being denied a Lok Sabha ticket in 2009 and joined the Samajwadi Party but lost the elections. Three years later, he joined the Congress.

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