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Will contest from Varanasi if party wishes: Priyanka


Adding currency to the 'will she, won't she' speculation, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said Tuesday she would abide by her party's decision on contesting against Prime Minister Narendra Modi from Varanasi.

"I have said this repeatedly that I will do what the party asks me to do," the 47-year-old Priyanka Gandhi said, adding that people were feeling harassed and wanted a change.

Last month, it was widely expected that Priyanka Gandhi may contest from Rae Bareli, though she had quipped "why not Varanasi", triggering the speculation.

Varanasi will vote in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections on May 19.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been saying that his sister will take a call on the Varanasi question and chose to keep the "suspense alive".

But she reiterated Tuesday it would be the party chief's decision.

On Monday, the SP-BSP alliance named a candidate for Varanasi in a move likely to heat up the battle in the key constituency, as the Congress had expected the backing of the Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav combine if Priyanka Gandhi contested.

Priyanka Gandhi, who was on a two-day tour of Amethi and Rae Bareli, represented by Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi, respectively, wrapped her visit holding meetings with party leaders at Gauriganj in Amethi.

Her brother had contested his first election from the family borough Amethi in March 2004.

Since then, there has been continuous speculation about when would she fight her first election.

With her entry into active politics this year, some Congress leaders had commented that had she done it in 2014, it would have had a huge impact electorally.

After years of working in the Congress backrooms, Priyanka Gandhi joined full-time politics in February as in-charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh, hoping to change the party's fortunes in the ongoing Lok Sabha election.

Speaking to reporters in Amethi, Priyanka Gandhi said, "Wherever I go, I find people angry with the Modi government. Every section of society the poor, farmers or the youth on which this government has inflicted pain, has made up its mind and its effect will be seen in the poll outcome."

On Monday, she hit out at BJP's Amethi candidate Smriti Irani for "insulting" the people of the constituency by distributing shoes among them.

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