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March 26, 2024

Congress’ Ajay Rai Set to Challenge Modi Again in Varanasi: Promises Change Amidst Paper Leak Scandal

In a bid to wrest Varanasi from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s grip, the Congress has once again nominated Ajay Rai as its candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Despite facing defeat twice in the past, Rai remains undeterred, citing the prevalent paper leak scandal in Uttar Pradesh as a potential turning point in his favor.

Rai, hailing from Purvanchal in eastern Uttar Pradesh, expressed confidence in the electorate of Kashi, emphasizing their disillusionment with Modi’s unfulfilled promises. In an exclusive interview with News18 following the Congress’s announcement of its fourth candidate list, Rai lamented the lack of transformation in Varanasi despite Modi’s pledge to elevate it to the status of Kyoto.

“What happened to the PM’s promise of transforming Kashi to Kyoto? Kashi is still the same, with heaps of garbage lying unattended, potholes, traffic congestion; most of the low-lying areas along the Ganga and Varuna rivers are in a flood-like situation during the rainy season. Nothing has changed. And people are well aware of it,” Rai remarked, highlighting the pressing issues plaguing the constituency.

Reflecting on his previous electoral defeats against Modi, Rai attributed his losses to initial optimism surrounding Modi’s leadership, which he believes has waned over the past decade. He asserted that the electorate is now inclined towards effecting change and favoring a local representative over an “outsider.”

Rai underscored the gravity of concerns such as the paper leak scandal and rampant unemployment, holding the BJP government accountable for its failure to address these pressing issues. He pledged the Congress’s commitment to youth welfare, promising to tackle unemployment and ensure fair examinations if elected to power.

“Our party will surely secure the future of the youth if voted to power,” Rai affirmed, outlining the Congress’s agenda centered on ‘yuva nyay’ (justice for youth). He vowed to prioritize the filling of government vacancies, implement stringent measures against paper leaks, and foster entrepreneurship among individuals below the age of 40 to expedite the city’s development.

A seasoned politician with roots in the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), Rai’s political journey has seen affiliations with various parties before aligning with the Congress. A three-time MLA from the Kolasla assembly seat, Rai’s foray into national politics began with his contest against BJP stalwart Murli Manohar Joshi in 2009. Since then, Rai has emerged as the Congress’s chosen contender to challenge Modi’s dominance in Varanasi.

Despite facing resounding defeats in the past, Rai remains buoyed by his community’s political influence and is poised to offer a formidable challenge to Modi’s supremacy in Varanasi. With Varanasi set to witness yet another electoral showdown between Rai and Modi, the stage is set for a fiercely contested battle that could potentially alter the political landscape of Uttar Pradesh.

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