While addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Raksha Mantri Nirmala Sitharaman, on Thursday has deemed it unnecessary to analyse the decision of Congress to not field Priyanka Gandhi from Varanasi against PM Modi, saying that their (Congress party's) decisions are not based on any solid grounds.
"I will not speculate on Congress as to what they have decided, because their statements are not made on a solid basis just like their chief (Rahul Gandhi) keeps making statements based on falsehood. I do not want to comment or analyse on their decision at all." she said.
Sitharaman was referring to Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's earlier statement that 'she would be happy to contest', showing her willingness over the Varanasi's candidacy.
"If my Congress president tells me to contest I'll be happy to contest.", Vadra had said.
Earlier on Thursday, Congress had released a list of candidates for its Gorakhpur and Varanasi constituencies, which did not feature the UP General Secretary (East), Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
While speculations were high that Priyanka Gandhi will be pitted against PM Modi from Varanasi, it was on the party president Rahul Gandhi to take the final call.
Five-time MLA from Uttar Pradesh, Ajay Rai is a local strongman in the Varanasi area for the Congress party. While he started his political journey as a BJP leader, in 2009 he joined the Indian National Congress. In 2014 General Elections, Ajay Rai was the Congress candidate from Varanasi against BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi. However, he lost to PM Modi, coming third after AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal.
Responding to Ajay Rai's candidacy, former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit had said that she appreciated Priyanka Vadra's work till date and the decision to contest or not was upto her (Vadra).
"Whatever decision she takes it is upto her, we have benefited from her coming to the fore," she said to media.
Varanasi will vote in the last phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.