Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra held a massive roadshow in Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday.

Priyanka, who is incharge of the Congress in eastern Uttar Pradesh, began her roadshow from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU), where she paid floral tributes to the statue of Bharat Ratna Madan Mohan Malviya.

Interestingly, PM Modi had on 25 April – the day he filed nomination – embarked on his mega roadshow in Varanasi from the same point.

The Congress leader was accompanied by Varanasi Lok Sabha candidate Ajay Rai and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.

Rai, a five-term MLA, had lost heavily to PM Modi in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, losing his deposit. He is the only major challenger to PM Modi from this seat after the candidature of Samajwadi Party (SP) nominee Tej Bahadur Yadav was rejected by the Election Commission.

Priyanka was seen waving to supporters from atop a truck as her roadshow navigated the streets of the city. The roadshow will terminate at Kashi Vishwanath temple, where Priyanka is expected to offer prayers.

The Congress leader’s roadshow is being seen as an attempt to portray the party as a formidable challenge to the PM on his own turf.

In March this year, the 47-year-old Priyanka Gandhi had concluded a three-day boat ride on the River Ganga at Assi Ghat in Varanasi.

Earlier, there were speculations about Priyanka contesting from Varanasi. The Congress, however, shot down all speculations by fielding Rai.