"The national Congress has decided with the approval of honourable Congress President, to field Ajay Rai as our candidate from Varanasi. Rai has a history of electoral success in Varanasi. He has fought a number of elections successfully and is currently a sitting Congress MLA," said Congress leader Randeep Surjewala.
"He has led the area, is known to the area, and in the party's opinion he is the best candidate for Varanasi. He is a grassroot worker and leader, and can ably lead people of Varanasi in the parliament of India, besides projecting the very inherent idea of India vis-à-vis the BJP candidate," he added.
Besides Modi, Kejriwal and Rai, nominees of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party will also contest the Varanasi seat.
Varanasi has become the focus of elections after Modi decided to contest from there as his second constituency besides Vadodara in Gujarat.
According to media reports, the Congress has been hamstrung by the absence of a personality to take on Modi.