Prime Minister Narendra Modi will file his nomination for Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi today. On Thursday, the prime minister led a massive roadshow in Varanasi followed by offering prayers at Dashashwamedh Ghat. He was accompanied by Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Covering the 6-kilometre stretch between BHU campus gate and Dashashwamedh Ghat, the prime minister's roadshow was nothing short of a spectacle.
While Modi held the roadshow, top trend on Twitter was '#KashiBoleNaMoNaMo'. While the roadshow was the show of strength and appeal that Modi has among the common people, the nomination is also expected to be a grand affair.
Senior NDA leaders, including Janata Dal (United) president and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, are expected along with Shiromani Akali Dal's Parkash Singh Badal and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan when Modi files his nomination. Leaders of AIADMK, Apna Dal and North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) will also be present during the nomination.
The presence of leaders of all the important allies of NDA will be used to send a message of a strong alliance backing Modi and the BJP.
According to reports, BJP vice-president of the Varanasi region Dharmendra Singh said, "All Kashiites have warmly accepted our invitation for the road show." Prominent among those invited are vocalist Padma Bhushan Pandit Chhannu Lal Mishra, classical vocalist and Jaltarang artiste Padma Shri Rajeshwar Acharya, social activist Padma Shri Rajnikant, basketball player Padma Shri Prashanti Singh and folk singer Padma Shri Heera Lal Yadav. Pandit Mishra, one of the proposers of Modi’s nomination for the seat in 2014, said he would participate.
Ashok Gupta, Keshav Jalan, Deenanath Jhunjhunwala and RK Chaudhary are among the prominent city-based industrialists who have been requested to join the roadshow, reports further said.
Grandson of Bharat Ratna shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan, Nasir Abbas told reporters that he wants to be Modi's proposer this year and wants to "undo" what he did in 2014.
On 10 April, the family wrote an open letter to Modi saying that they wish to be his proposer when he files nomination from Varanasi. "My inclusion as one of your proposers will send the message of communal harmony across India as you seek re-election from Varanasi. I want to be present at your nomination and remain extremely grateful for placing my grandfather’s shehnai at the Trade Facilitation Centre in Lalpur," The Times of India quoted a section of the letter written by Nasir.
Apart from Bismillah family, reports have said that the Dom Raja of Kashi and boatmen are also likely to be Modi’s proposers on Friday when he files his nomination for Varanasi parliamentary seat. On Friday, Modi will also address booth heads and party workers at 9.30 am. After filing the nomination papers, Modi will leave Varanasi to address public rallies at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai in Maharashtra.
Shah will address a public meeting at Jalore and will lead a roadshow at Jodhpur, Rajasthan.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi will address a public meeting at Samastipur in Bihar, Balasore in Odisha and Ahmednagar in Maharashtra on Friday. Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who led a roadshow in Jhansi on Thursday will hold a roadshow in Unnao and will address a public meeting at Barabanki.
On Thursday, Congress decided to field five-time MLA Ajai Rai from Varanasi to contest the Lok Sabha election against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The news came amid speculation that the party would field Priyanka Gandhi, Congress general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East, to fight it out against Modi.
Also, Congress decided that it will field Madhusudan Tiwari from Gorakhpur. He will be contesting the election from Gorakhpur — Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath's bastion — against actor-politician Ravi Kishan.
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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2019 08:34:16 IST