The Congress is likely to field sitting MLA Ajay Rai against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.
Rai, who represents Pindra assembly seat in Varanasi, was considered a strong contender for the Congress ticket in the constituency which is the site of one of the most anticipated battles in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. AAP chief Kejriwal is also in the fray from Varanasi.
Rai’s experience as a local leader pits him as a front-runner for the seat. Former Varanasi MP Rajesh Mishra’s name was also being considered.
Rai’s local credentials are doubly important as both Modi and Kejriwal are not from the Varanasi region. Quami Ekta Dal leader Mukhtar Ansari had also announced that he would contest from here. Sources said Rai, who was called to New Delhi on Monday had a series of meetings with senior leaders.