Amid speculation that Congress is seriously considering him as a candidate against Narendra Modi in Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, senior party leader Digvijay Singh today said no one in Congress has so far broached the issue to him. "...No one in my party has even broached the subject of my contesting against Modi ini Varanasi. It's probably a good media story but as far as I am concerned, no one has asked me till now on whether I should be contesting from Varanasi," Singh told Times Now.
The AICC general secretary at the same time said though he does not consider himself a heavy weight, he is "prepared" to fight from any parliamentary, including in Varanasi, against Modi "if the party desired so."
When pointed out that he had earlier said he was willing to contest against Modi from Varanasi, Singh insisted there was no change in his stand even now. "Yes certainly. I am a loyalist. I am a soldier of my party. So whatever the party decides, I will do that...I am prepared to contest from any parliamentary seat from which my party asks me to, including Varansi.
"I have stood firm on my statement. I am prepared if asked to contest from any parliamentary seat, which includes Varanasi...I am willing to take up any challenge which the party wants me to take up including fighting Modi," he said.
Singh rejected the contention that he was dilluting his earlier statement.
At the party's manifesto release programme on Wednesday, Congress President Sonia Gandhi said the party will "definitely challenge" Modi in Varanasi in Lok Sabha polls. The name of Singh has been doing the rounds for Varanasi seat for quite some time after the party made it clear that it will not vacate the political space by not contesting in favour of any candidate including AAP's Arvind Kejriwal.
The party has already fielded AICC General Secretary Madhusudan Mistry, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, to take on Modi in Vadodara, the second Lok Sabha seat from where BJP;s prime ministerial candidate is contesting.