Rahul Gandhi's close aide Sam Pitroda on Friday during a media briefing admitted that a spooked Priyanka Gandhi backed away from a fight in Varanasi against PM Narendra Modi for the Lok Sabha election anticipating huge turnout for his mega-roadshow on Thursday.
Republic TV asked him whether Rahul Gandhi trusted her about fighting in Varanasi against the Prime Minister. However, he blamed the party's UP general secretary (east) and said it was she who had chosen to not contest in Varanasi as that the Congress president had left the decision on the matter on her.
He added that it was not true that Rahul Gandhi did not have faith in her to take on PM Modi.
"Not true. Party president gave her the final decision. It is Priyanka ji's decision. She herself thought that there is a lot of responsibility. She thought that rather than concentrating on one seat, she should focus on the job she has at hand. So that decision was finally hers and she decided it," he said.
On Thursday, when Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, on asked about why Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had not contested from Varanasi, said that Congress had hurriedly announced its candidate for the seat after seeing the crowds thronging for PM Modi's roadshow since 10 AM, after the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedha Ghat.
"I am surprised as to why there was an urgency to announce a name today in the morning, as the roadshow was only at 5 PM. Probably seeing that by 10 AM, entire Banaras had crowded the roads, and seeing their enthusiasm, Congress could have felt that if they announced that Priyanka will not contest, post the roadshow, it would be read differently by the people. Maybe this is why they announced the news hurriedly."
On being asked about what he felt about the massive turnout for the Prime Minister's roadshow on Thursday in the holy city, he said that the gratitude towards PM Modi's hard work was evident in its enthusiasm.
"It is evident what kind of enthusiasm is there in the people regarding PM Modi, across the country. This gratitude felt by 30 crore Indians is due to the work done by PM Modi for community service, welfare for the poor and every community was seen today."