Days after Rahul Gandhi's close aide Sam Pitroda blamed the party's UP general secretary (east) Priyanka Gandhi Vadra that it was she who had chosen to not contest in Varanasi, he has again changed track. While talking to ANI on Saturday, he said, that the party wanted Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to focus on 20 seats instead of being captive to only the Varanasi parliamentary constituency with an aim to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi by contesting polls.
On being asked whether Priyanka's decision not to contest elections from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat is because Modi is said to be invincible from the temple city, Pitroda said, "Earlier also I have said that it has to be her own decision because contesting elections is a very personal decision and it has to be a decision between a party and a person. When the party and the person collectively made that decision, we all have to support it."
When asked about the reason behind Priyanka's decision not to contest polls, Pitroda said, "They must have felt it is better to use her time and talent on more seats rather than one seat and not divert her energy to one place as opposed to 20 seats in Uttar Pradesh."
Earlier, Congress insider Rajeev Shukla had said during a media briefing that it was the Congress president who had decided to not field her from the constituency.
The difference in statements showed the infighting within the dynastic Congress family with a camp Priyanka and camp Rahul in the party.
Congress leader P Chidambaram during a media briefing in Mumbai had said on Priyanka Gandhi backing away from fighting the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh against PM Narendra Modi.
"Did she tell you she is going to contest and then she backed off? You are assuming she was going to contest. I am also willing to contest but party must consent. You will also contest if the party appoints you. DId the party announce she is going to contest? The media announced she is going to contest candidate and then said she withdrew," he said.