Updated March 4th, 2024 at 20:59 IST

Battle of Varanasi: Congress Mulls Satyapal Malik to Take on PM Modi, Say Reports

Amid speculations on Congress' candidate for the Varanasi seat, the party is likely to field Satyapal Malik to take on PM Modi.

Reported by: Ronit Singh
Battle of Varanasi: Congress Mulls Satyapal Malik to Take on PM Modi, Say Reports | Image:PTI/File
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New Delhi: Amid speculations on Congress' candidate for the Varanasi seat, the party is likely to field Satyapal Malik, former Governor of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, against the BJP candidate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, according to reports.

It added that during internal survey of candidates for Lok Sabha seats, the Congress's central committee received Malik's name in the feedback as suggestion. However, no official statement regarding the candidature of Malik from the Varanasi seat has been issued by the Congress. 

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According to sources, Congress leader and former MP Rajesh Mishra has opted out of the Lok Sabha race, triggering speculations around Malik's candidature from the Varanasi seat. 

Remarking on the development, SP leader Athar Jamal Lari said that Varanasi seat of Uttar Pradesh is with the Congress under seat-sharing agreement made within INDI bloc. 

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“An appeal will be made to the Congress to field former Jammu and Kashmir Governor Malik from Varanasi,” he added. 

Varanasi: Massive Defeat for Congress in 2019 

In the Lok Sabha polls 2019, PM Modi contested against Ajay Rai and won by record-breaking 6,74,664 votes. The Prime Minister, in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, defeated Ajay Rai by securing 5, 81,022 votes.

The Congress and the Samajwadi Party declared their seat-sharing pact for the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh in a crucial breakthrough for the opposition INDIA bloc. While Congress will fight on 17 of the 80 seats, including the Varanasi seat, the Samajwadi Party and other INDIA bloc allies will contest the rest of 63 seats.

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PM Modi Heads to Varanasi Again

Following BJP's late-night Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting on February 29, chaired by PM Modi, the saffron party released its first list of 195 candidates for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls. 

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Naming PM Modi for the Varanasi seat, the list featured name of several high-profile leaders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah for Gandhinagar seat in Gujarat. 

Announcing the list, BJP National General Secretary Vinod Tawde exuded confidence that the BJP will form the government for the third term under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with a much bigger mandate. 

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Published March 4th, 2024 at 20:59 IST