Congress fields Ajay Rai opposite PM Narendra Modi in Varanasi
The announcement comes on the day when PM Narendra Modi started his two day campaign in the region before filing his nomination papers on April 26.
The Congress reportedly debated pitting Priyanka Gandhi, often called its "Brahmastra", against PM Modi but caution won out.
Last week, Congress President Rahul Gandhi has injected suspense while addressing a presser saying, "let Priyanka's election seat be in suspense, Suspense is not always a bad thing."
In 2014, Ajay Rai has secured third place in the Varanasi with 75000 votes in his favours. The Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal came second with around two lakh votes. None of them came anywhere close to the Prime Minister's 5.8 lakh.
Earlier, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had also shown interest in contesting against the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi, but she had left the choice on Rahul Gandhi.
Varanasi votes on May 19 in the last phase of the national elections. The results of the seven-phase polls will be announced on May 23.