- PM Modi contesting Lok Sabha polls from Varanasi
- Priyanka joined politics earlier this year, has not ruled out contesting
- Says can run against PM if Congress chief, brother Rahul Gandhi asks her
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who earlier suggested the possibility of her contesting from Varanasi, the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, today put the ball in the court of her brother Rahul Gandhi. "If the Congress President asks me to contest, I will be happy to contest," Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said in Wayanad, the Kerala constituency from where Rahul Gandhi has filed his second nomination.
After years of working in the Congress backrooms in the family strongholds of Amethi and Raebareli, Priyanka Gandhi had joined active politics in February this year as a general secretary in charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh.
But there has been no clarity on whether she would be contesting the national election too.
Last month, amid a buzz that she might contest from her mother's constituency, Raebareli, Priyanka Gandhi had quipped, "Why not Varanasi".
After the remark unleashed expectations of a formidable electoral battle, she amended it, saying she would contest on whichever seat the party wanted her to.
Rahul Gandhi earlier made it clear that his sister's electoral debut -- if at all -- will be her call.
But last week, he playfully commented that there was no harm in keeping the "suspense alive" on whether Priyanka Gandhi would take on the Prime Minister from Varanasi.
The Congress chief had contested his first election from family borough Amethi in March 2004. Since then, there has been constant speculation about when Priyanka Gandhi, too, would enter active politics.
The younger Gandhi does not only share a facial resemblance with her grandmother, former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, but also a sense of her mass-connect.
After her entry to active politics this year, some party leaders commented that had she done it in 2014, it would have had a huge impact electorally.
In 2014, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal had taken on PM Modi from Varanasi. While he lost, he came to be seen as a politician ready for a big challenge. The next year, AAP swept to power in Delhi, winning 67 of the 70 assembly seats.
Nominations for Varanasi can be filed between April 22 and 29 -- the temple town votes on May 19 in the last phase of the national elections.