Polling began at 7 AM and Anant Narayan Singh, the present king of Kashi (old name of Varanasi) and Congress candidate Ajay Rai were among the first to vote at a booth in Ramnagar.
Around 16 lakh people are eligible to cast vote. Rai came to vote wearing a badge of his election symbol 'hand' on his kurta. When asked whether it could amount to violation of Election Code of Conduct just as in the case of Modi in Gandhinagar, Rai said he has the right to wear the symbol as a candidate and "the hand symbol was in his heart".
He also that Modi was showing lotus symbol while he is only wearing it.<blockquote class="twitter-tweet blockquote" lang="en"><p>Congress leader Ajay Rai displayed Congress' symbol inside a polling booth in Varanasi <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23WhoWillFormGovt&src=hash">#WhoWillFormGovt</a> <a href="http://t.co/r3hHcdGtOM">pic.twitter.com/r3hHcdGtOM</a></p>— TIMES NOW (@timesnow) <a href="https://twitter.com/timesnow/statuses/465702553972256768">May 12, 2014</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Long queues were seen in areas like Nadesar, Ram Nagar and Benaras Hindu University campus and Muslim dominated localities within the city and villages on the outskirts, indicating higher voting percentage then 42 per cent polling in 2009 polls.
In a tweet, Modi urged voters in all the 41 constituencies, which went to polls in the final phase of voting, to come in large numbers and vote. "My special request to the youth, go out and vote and take your families and friends to the polling votes," he said in another tweet. The authorities have around deployed around 45,000 security personnel to ensure free and fair polls in the city.
Over 1,200 booths have been put under surveillance through CCTV cameras and videography has been arranged for remaining close to 300 booths.