Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at the Varanasi District Magistrate’s office in Varanasi at 11.20 am on Friday to file his nomination papers amid huge pomp and show and an army of supporters behind him. However, among those espousing the prime minister's candidature as proposers are people from all walks of life, including Modi's old aide and Varanasi's chief cremator.
According to the Election Commission guidelines, a candidate of a recognised national party requires a minimum of one locally registered voter to propose his name as a candidate. Each candidate can be accompanied by five persons, including proposers. However, an Independent candidate or a candidate of an unrecognised political party needs ten electors from the constituency to propose their name as a nominee.
Modi will be taking four proposers and one lawyer along with him to the returning officer.
So far, names of four people have come forward who will be Modi's proposers.
Dr Annapurna Shukla
Annapurna Shukla, 81, is popularly known as the manasputri of BJP ideologue Pundit Madan Mohan Malviya. Shukla is a noted academician and an MBBS doctor in Varanasi. She was been close to Malviya since her childhood. Malviya was a four-time Indian National Congress president and the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi.
A member of the Dom Raja family, Jagdish Raja Chowdhary who helps perform the last rites at Varanasi’s Manikarnika Ghat is also one of the proposers.
Subhash Chandra Gupta
One of the oldest BJP workers in Varanasi, Gupta has been loyal to the the party since the Jana Sangha days.
Dr Ramashankar Patel is veteran agricultural scientist, whose work is recognised and awarded by the Central government.
Apart from the proposers, accompanying the prime minister would be Parindu Bhagat, alias Kakubhai who is his legal advisor for the last three decades. Kakubhai has been assisting Modi in filing his nomination since his first election in 2002, when he contested from Rajkot in a by-election in February 2002.
The grandson of late Shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan, Nasir Abbas Bismillah, had also written an open letter to Modi expressing his desire to become a proposer. However, he was not picked for the job. In the last election, the family had refused to become a proposer for Modi, saying they do not want to be associated with any political party.
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Updated Date: Apr 26, 2019 12:21:38 IST