However, there was no official word from the party over the candidature and a senior leader associated with the ticket finalization exercise said he would not be able to say anything on record on the matter.
    
Party sources maintained Singh's name is under serious consideration. It is believed that if Singh, a known detractor of Modi, is fielded from Varanasi, it will help the party makes the going tough for the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.
     
Congress spokespersons have been insisting the party would put up formidable candidates against Modi but steered clear of questions whether he would be a local or an outsider.
      
Digvijay has become a member of the Rajya Sabha from Madhya Pradesh last month. He has been the AICC general secretary in-charge for quite a long time. Efforts to contact Singh did not succeed. However, there were indications from the state leaders that Singh was examining the possibility.
    
 If a local candidate is to be fielded, the name of Rajesh Mishra, a former MP, is being considered seriously. Mishra, who represented the seat from 2004 to 2009, has already said he has "no problem" to face Modi in the polls.
      
Mishra had contested from the seat thrice including in 1999 and got 1.2 lakh votes in 2009 Lok Sabha polls. He had finished fourth in the last polls as the election had become a tussle between Joshi, the eventual winner, and Mukhtar Ansari of BSP.

(Agencies)

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