Prime Minister Narendra Modi hits the campaign trail in his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi by embarking on a road show from the gate of Banaras Hindu University on Saturday. Travelling in an SUV, the roadshow covered a distance of 5 kilometres.
Huge crowd gathered on the streets to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister. According to reports, Congress and Samajwadi party supporters also showed up and waved their party flags at Bhadaini area. They shouted slogans supporting Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi and Modi supporters responded with louder chants.
Apart from PM Modi’s campaign, the crucial Varanasi region will also see a slew of high-profile rallies by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and BSP supremo Mayawati on Saturday
Modi offered prayers at Kashi Vishwanath temple and his roadshow concluded near the famous Kaal Bhairav Mandir of Varanasi. He is scheduled to address two election rallies at Jaunpur and Varanasi.
Meanwhile, the BJP accused the administration of here “selectively” pulling down its posters in the name of implementing the poll code. However, a top police official dismissed as “baseless” the allegations levelled by the party and said the administration was acting in an “impartial” and “non-partisan” manner.
BJP spokesman Shrikant Sharma said, “The entire city is dotted with posters and banners put up by the ruling Samajwadi Party in the state and its ally, the Congress. However, we have observed that the district administration has been selectively pulling down those put up by our party, especially the ones featuring the Prime Minister Modi who is in the city”, he charged
Dismissing the allegations levelled by Sharma, Inspector General of Police, Varanasi zone, N Ravinder told PTI, “The allegation (of BJP posters and banners being selectively pulled down) are baseless.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in his Lok Sabha constituency this morning, is scheduled to address his first public meeting here, for the Assembly polls, in the evening.
Top BJP leaders and members of the Union council of ministers have been camping in the city to galvanise public support in favour of the party, which is aiming at a revival in the state where it had been in decline for more than a decade before making a dramatic comeback in the 2014 general elections when it won a stunning 71 Lok Sabha seats in UP, its best-ever performance till date.
The temple town is bracing for hectic electioneering today as besides Modi’s visit, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to hold a joint road show criss-crossing through a major part of the city, while BSP supremo Mayawati will also be holding a rally on the outskirts.
Heavy deployment of forces is in place in the district, where voting will be held for all the seven assembly segments, five of them falling in the PM’s Lok Sabha constituency, on 8 March.