From grand roadshow to Ganga Aarti; Modi sends a strong message to opposition from Varanasi
Varanasi, Apr 25: Around six lakh people thronged the streets of Varanasi to take part in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand roadshow in his Lok Sabha constituency on Thursday evening. Modi started the road show from the campus of the Benaras Hindu University after paying respects in front of a statue of Madan Mohan Malviya.
After over two hours, PM Modi's roadshow culminated at Dashashwamedh Ghat where he offered prayers to the river Ganges and winesssed Ganga Aarti. Amit Shah, Yogi Adityanath and UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey were also on tha dais with Modi on the banks of the Ganges
The prime minister, who was wearing a saffron kurta and scarf, was cheered by a massive crowd as his cavalcade passed through the Lanka and Assi areas of the city. The roadshow ended at the Dashashwamedh Ghat where Modi watched the Ganga aarti being performed. Before reaching Varanasi, Modi had tweeted: "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 had tweeted. The show of strength takes place on a day the Congress ended all speculation about its general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra taking on Modi in the city. The Congress has again fielded Ajay Rai from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. He had finished third in 2014.
Modi will file his nomination from Varanasi tomorrow, i.e. on April 26, Friday. Leaders from top NDA partners and Union Ministers are expected to be in Varanasi for PM Narendra Modi's nomination on Friday. Home Minister Rajnath Singh Bihar Chief Minister and JDU chief Nitish Kumar, Akali Dal's senior leader and former chief minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal, Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and others will be present in Varanasi.
In 2014, Narendra Modi had defeated his closest rival Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)'s Arvind Kejriwal by nearly three lakh votes and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would want him to repeat the success this time too. Voting in Varanasi is scheduled to be held in the last of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on May 19.
The Prime Minister will land at Varanasi's Babatpur airport around 2 pm in the afternoon, before heading to the helipad at Banaras Hindu University and taking the car from there to Lanka, from where the roadshow will begin. PM Modi will first garland the statue of Madan Mohan Malviya at the location, before embarking on the roadshow.
The mega roadshow is expected to stretch over six kilometres, going from Lanka to Dashashwamedh Ghat via Godoliya.
The road show will begin at around 3 pm after the Prime Minister garlands the statue of Banaras Hindu University founder Madan Mohan Malaviya, according to the schedule available now. The procession will end at about 7 pm at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, the most prominent of Varanasi's ghats, where Modi will take part in the evening prayers.