Pitted against BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, Congress’ Ajai Rai has been the latest to enter the fray in Varanasi. But Rai regards both as outsiders, who practically stand no chance. Excerpts from an interview:
Ajay Rai has been declared Congress candidate for the Varanasi seat. PTI Photo
Your name was the last to be announced. Won’t this effect your campaigning?
The delay does not matter for me. I have been here for the last 15 years and I understand the people and their problems. The people know me and my work. So even if I have 15 days to campaign… I just have to tell my people that I am contesting.
What will be your plank against Narendra Modi?
People know Modi as a rioter from Gujarat. So there is no question of worrying about him. People will vote for a person who understands their concerns and is willing to get them out of the troubles they face every day.
Kejriwal is not a problem either?
Kejriwal, too, is an outsider. He was given power in Delhi but he could not perform and that is another fact people know very well. I need not to tell them about all this. See, voters want a solution to their problems. They do not want the stars, just some basic relief, which only a person who stays with them can provide.
If Mukhtar Ansari joins the race, will your polling percentage be affected?
No. He is an outsider as well. The situation is not the same as in the last general elections and though Mukhtar got the second position back then, he will not get votes this time.
Do you think infighting in the party will harm your prospects?
Rahul Gandhi has assured me of all support. All office bearers of the party and my people are with me and it is enough.