1. Home
  2. English
  3. Accompanied by a Host of Leaders Modi Files Nomination from Varanasi
Accompanied by a Host of Leaders Modi Files Nomination from Varanasi

Accompanied by a Host of Leaders Modi Files Nomination from Varanasi

Social Share

Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 14: Accompanied by National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, Chief Ministers of various NDA-ruled States, Union Ministers and several leaders of the BJP, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday filed his nomination papers for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh after a flashy six km roadshow on Monday evening.

Among those accompanying Mr Modi in filling his papers were the BJP chief JP Nadda, the union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma, Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Jayant Chaudhary, Lok Janshakti Party chief Chirag Paswan, Apna Dal chief Anupriya Patel, the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party’s Om Prakash Rajbhar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss, and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan.

“My relationship with my Kashi is amazing, inseparable and incomparable… all I can say is that it cannot be expressed in words!” Mr Modi, said before filing his nomination in a post in Hindi on social media platform X.

In the morning en route to filing his papers, Mr Modi prayed at the city’s iconic Dashashwamedh Ghat, on the banks of the Ganges, with UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath present, and visited the Kaal Bhairav Temple. “I am overwhelmed and emotional! I did not even realise how 10 years passed under the shade of your affection. Aaj Maa Ganga ne mujhe god le liya hai (today, Maa Ganga has adopted me).”

After filing his papers Mr Modi went to the city’s Rudraksh Convention Centre and interacted with party workers. On Monday, after his roadshow, the Prime Minister said, “The love and blessings my family members of Kashi showed during the road show became an unforgettable moment in my life.”

The whole day was full of symbolic gestures alluding to the specific characteristics of Varanasi or the choice of proposers for his nomination. The Prime Minister started his day by offering prayers at the Dashashwamedh Ghat and at the Kaal Bhairav temple in the city. Offering prayers at the Kaal Bhairav temple is widely believed to be mandatory for anyone wishing to prosper in Varanasi.

Following the temple visit, he proceeded to the Varanasi Collectorate to file his nomination papers, with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and two of the four proposers of his nomination accompanying him inside the Collector’s office.

Among the four proposers of Mr Modi’s nomination were Pandit Ganeshwar Shastri Dravid, who decided the muhurat or auspicious time for the consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and also the ground-breaking ceremony for the temple; Baijnath Patel, a long-time Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary; and Lalchand Kushwaha and Sanjay Sonkar, both associated with the BJP.

Mr Shastri Dravid was chosen to decide these muhurat’s to reconcile Hindu traditions of the north and south of India as his family migrated from Thiruvisainallur in Tamil Nadu a couple of centuries ago. His father, Laxman Shastri, has been credited with the establishment of Shri Vallabhram Shaligram Sangved Vidyalaya in Ram Ghat.

The social composition of the group of four proposers is interesting in that it comprises a Brahmin (Mr Shastri), a Kurmi (Mr Patel), a Kushwaha, and a member of a Scheduled Caste community (Mr Sonkar), a wide social spectrum that has extended support to Mr Modi and the BJP since 2014.

Mr Modi is seeking a third consecutive term from the BJP bastion; the party has won this seat eight times since 1991, with only RK Mishra of the Congress, in 2004, managing to break the stranglehold. Varanasi will vote in the seventh and final phase of this election – on June 1. In the 2019 poll Mr Modi won by nearly 4.8 lakh votes, a big jump from the 3.72 lakh winning margin five years earlier.

In the 2014 election Varanasi saw a high-profile clash between the Prime Minister and Aam Aadmi Party boss Arvind Kejriwal, who gathered a little over 20 per cent of the votes on his debut in the BJP fortress. This time around (on paper) the PM’s rival is the Congress’ Ajay Rai. Mr Rai contested in 2019 and got 1.52 lakh votes, an improved vote share of 7.04 per cent.

Hindus make up around 75 per cent of Varanasi’s demographic. Muslims make up 20 per cent. An estimated 10 per cent of the population belong to Scheduled Tribes and only 0.7 are from Scheduled Castes. The rural-urban split of the population is 65 to 35 per cent.




Your email address will not be published.

Join our WhatsApp Channel

And stay informed with the latest news and updates.

Join Now
revoi whats app qr code