Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a massive roadshow in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh a day before he files his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
Starting from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), where the PM paid tributes to Bharat Ratna Madan Mohan Malviya, the roadshow ended at Dashashwamedh Ghat, where the PM performed the Ganga aarti.
The PM was accompanied by BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and a bevy of other BJP leaders at the ghat.
The ghat was decked up on the occasion. A lit up ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ – one of the election slogans of the BJP – was seen at the venue.
Modi, who contested and won from Varanasi for the first time in 2014, is looking for a second term in office as Prime Minister of India.
In 2014, the PM had won from both Varanasi and Vadodara. He left the seat in Gujarat and retained the one in UP, where the BJP won 70 of the 80 seats. The PM had polled 56 per cent of all votes in Varanasi winning with a massive margin of 3.37 lakh votes in 2014.
The PM arrived in Varanasi after attending rallies in Darbhanga and Banda.
“After bumper rallies in Darbhanga and Banda, I am heading to beloved Kashi. There are a series of programmes lined up, which would give me another excellent opportunity to interact with my sisters and brothers of Kashi. Har Har Mahadev!” he tweeted before his arrival in Varanasi.
People had thronged from all over the city to catch a glimpse of their sitting MP.
A sea of supporters lined on both sides of the streets to greet the PM as his cavalcade meandered through some of the most famous addresses of the city.
The chants of ‘Modi-Modi’ rented the air as the PM bowed to his supporters. Slogans like “Modi pure hai, baaki sab chor hai” also rang out as rose petals were showered on the Prime Minister.
The roadshow covered 6 km from the Lanka area to Dashashwamedh Ghat via Godoliya. The PM’s roadshow also touched Assi area of the city, which was also where Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had concluded her three-day boat ride from Prayag to Varanasi in March.
Congress today put to rest all speculations on Priyanka contesting elections from Varanasi by fielding Ajay Rai as the party nominee.
Reports say that besides common people, the roadshow was attended by city-based Padma awardees, some local industrialists and literary figures.
The PM will file his nomination on 26 April after offering prayers at the Kaal Bhairav temple and Kashi Vishwanath temple. He is scheduled to file his nomination at 11.30 am.
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are expected to be in attendance when the PM files his nomination papers in Varanasi.
Earlier today the Election Commission sought a report from the chief electoral officer of Gujarat on a “roadshow” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad on Tuesday which the Congress alleged violated electoral law.
Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act states that, “No person shall convene, hold, attend, join or address any public meeting or procession in connection with an election … in any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in that polling area.”
PM Modi travelled in an open jeep to a polling centre in the Ranip area of Ahmedabad on Tuesday morning to cast his vote. People lined up on both sides of the road as the jeep passed.
After casting the vote, PM Modi walked some distance away from the polling centre and spoke to the media.