Ajay Rai is a 5-time MLA from the Pindra Constituency of Varanasi. He was the Congress candidate for the 2014 and the 2019 General Elections, against Narendra Modi.
Ajay Rai was born on 19 October 1969 (age 49 years; as in 2019) in Varanasi. His zodiac sign is Libra. He has done his schooling from a local school in Varanasi. He went on to pursue his graduation from Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Varanasi. His political career started when he joined the Youth Wing of the BJP. In 1996, he was given a ticket from the BJP for the Assembly Elections which he won. Over the years, he joined the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Indian National Congress (INC).
Ajay Rai is known as a strongman (Bahubali) in Varanasi. He is considered to be more of a gangster and don than a politician. He has several criminal cases against him, ranging from, rioting, extortion, attempt to murder, and cases under the Gangster Act.
Height: 5′ 5″
Weight: 80 kg
Eye Colour: Black
Ajay Rai belongs to the Bhumihar Community. He was born to Surendra Rai and Parvati Devi Rai. He had a brother, Awadhesh Rai, who was allegedly murdered by Mukhtar Ansari. He is married to Reena Rai. The couple has 3 children, a son, and 2 daughters.
Ajay Rai started his political career with the BJP’s Youth Wing. He eventually got into the BJP and was selected for contesting the Assembly Elections of Uttar Pradesh in 1996 from the Varanasi’s Kolasala Constituency. He unexpectedly won against CPI’s MLA Udal; as Udal had been the sitting MLA from the Kolasala Constituency for 9 times. He was reported to be a new leader who has a strong connection with the public. As he was from the Bhumihar Community, which has a close connection with the Brahmins; it helped him in getting votes. It made him quite popular in Varanasi as well as in the BJP. He met with a lot of senior leaders and the star campaigners of the BJP.
He was elected as the MLA from the same seat for 3 times in a row on a BJP ticket. In 2009, when he expected to get a ticket to contest in the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections from the Varanasi Constituency, but the BJP fielded Murli Manohar Joshi instead. It annoyed Ajay Rai, and he quit the BJP to join the Samajwadi Party (SP); which gave him a ticket to contest the 2009 Lok Sabha Elections from Varanasi. He lost the election to the BJP and the Quami Ekta Dal (QED) and was at the third position. Miffed by his defeat, he wanted to contest the Assembly Elections of 2009 from the newly formed Pindra Constituency (as the Kolasala Constituency had been dissolved after de-limitation); but the SP did not give him a ticket. He quit the SP and contested the Assembly Elections as an independent candidate and won.
In 2012, Ajay Rai joined the Congress. He was selected as the Congress candidate for the 2014 General Elections from Varanasi, to contest against Narendra Modi. Ajay Rai was defeated heavily and came third in the elections. Narendra Modi won with 5,84000 votes, and Rai managed only 75,000 votes. For the 2019 General Elections, it was widely speculated that Priyanka Gandhi would contest the Lok Sabha Elections from Varanasi; as she had been made the Congress General Secretary for Uttar Pradesh East just a few months before the 2019 General Elections. The Congress on 25 April 2019, put an end to all those speculations by announcing Ajay Rai’s name again from the Varanasi Constituency.
उतर प्रदेश की दो सीटों के लिये लोकसभा प्रत्याशियों की घोषणा:
गोरखपुर से श्री मधुसूदन तिवारी, वाराणसी से श्री अजय राय (@kashikirai) को लोकसभा प्रत्याशी घोषित किया गया।
सभी प्रत्याशियों को मंगलकामनाएँ। pic.twitter.com/lzkfEo6dpQ
— UP Congress (@INCUttarPradesh) April 25, 2019
Ajay Rai contested again from the Varanasi Constituency against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While campaigning he played the local vs outsider card; convincing people that he will remain in Varanasi even after winning, but Narendra Modi will run back to Delhi or Gujarat. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi had campaigned for Ajay Rai thoroughly before the Lok Sabha Elections. Ajay Rai lost in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and came in the 3rd position. He lost by 5 Lac votes.
- In 1991, the Mayor of Varanasi had filed an FIR against Ajay Rai; claiming that Ajay Rai, along with other men, had fired on his jeep in the cantonment area on 20 August 1991. He was arrested but was later let go as there was no evidence against him.
- In May 2014, when Ajay Rai had gone to vote for the 2014 General Elections, the BJP and the AAP complained against him that Ajay Rai waved the Congress Party Flag inside a polling booth in Varanasi. It violated the Model Code of Conduct and a case was registered against him under Section 130 of the Representation of People’s Act.
- In 2015, he was arrested on the complaint of a trader, who had accused Ajay of setting him on fire. Ajay was booked under a case of attempt to murder. He was later released.
- On 6 October 2015, he was arrested by the police along with more than a 100 people for violence and arson, which had taken place during a protest against the decision of banning the immersion of Ganesha idols in the Ganga River. He was released 7 months later on bail.
- Ajay Rai has been an MLA from the Pindra Constituency for 5 times.
- He is a very religious person and often attends religious functions and gatherings.
- He was born and bought up in Varanasi.
- In 2014, when he was on his way to file for his nomination for the 2014 General Elections, he was accompanied by Raj Babbar and the Union Minister of Commerce Anand Sharma.
- Whenever Ajay Rai filed his nomination, he visits the Kaal Bhairav Temple to offer liquor to Lord Kaal Bhairav; a local tradition of Varanasi, before doing anything of great importance.