'Chai & paanwalahs' eye nomination date with Modi in Varanasi

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Varanasi, Apr 16: Chaiwalahs or tea sellers of Banaras seem to have joined an unofficial race to join the 'Kashi Naresh' for accompanying BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his nomination.

Speculation is rife a paanwala and 'Kashi Naresh' (Benares king) Anant Narayan Singh may propose Modi's name for nomination after Modi took along a tea seller and a royal family member as proposers for his nomination to Vadodara Lok Sabha contest in Gujarat.

Among others, there is also buzz of a boatman or a Muslim weaver accompanying Modi for his nomination. While BJP leaders say nothing has been finalised officially for nomination, including the date, tea sellers are already engaging in heated discussions about whether one of them should join Modi for his nomination.

"It's like a race even before bugle has been sounded," a local BJP leader said, while adding that Modi was likely to file his nomination here towards the end only, depending on his campaign schedule for the entire country. Nominations would begin on April 17 and continue till April 24.

When asked whether a tea seller and a royal would join Modi for nomination filing, senior BJP leader Nalin Kohli, who is camping here for polls, said that the party would announce the nomination details at an opportune time.

Anant Narayan Singh, whose ancestors had ruled the city of Kashi (the old name of Varanasi) and who is still known as Kashi Naresh, could not be contacted for his comments. This seat will go to polls on May 12.


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