Prime Minister Narendra Modi started his roadshow here on Friday afternoon, drumming up support for BJP candidates ahead of the last phase of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on March 7.
Modi arrived in his Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency after addressing a rally in neighbouring Mirzapur. He began the roadshow after garlanding a statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at Maldahiya crossing.
The crowd chanted ''Jai Shri Ram'' and ''Har Har Mahadev'', and showered rose petals as the prime minister’s convoy moved through the city to cover a distance of a little over three kilometres. Modi wore a saffron cap and a ''gamcha'' (towel) around the neck.
According to the planned route, the roadshow would end close to the recently renovated Kashi Vishwanath complex, where the PM would offer prayers.
Modi had begun his first roadshow in Varanasi from the same spot after filing his nomination papers for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
BJP city president Vidyasagar Rai said Modi will stay the night at the Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) guesthouse.
Modi's roadshow will cover the three assembly segments of Cantonment, Varanasi North and Varanasi South.
The prime minister will wind up his trip on Saturday with a rally in Khajuria village under the Rohaniya assembly seat, also addressing there people from the other five assembly segments under the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, Rai said.
During an earlier stay at the DLW guesthouse, Modi had written in the visitors' book that it reminded him of his childhood days when he used to vend tea at Vadnagar railway station in Gujarat.
After the mega Modi event, Varanasi will see another roadshow by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav from 8 pm to 10 pm.
SP’s Varanasi district president Vishnu Sharma told PTI that earlier they had sought permission from the district administration to hold the event from 5 pm to 10 pm.
As the UP elections near their end, Varanasi is abuzz with the arrival of top leaders from all major parties.
Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra landed in Varanasi Friday and headed to Phulpur middle school grounds for a rally after praying at the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
The two reached the rally venue after holding a roadshow of their own in favour of Congress candidate Ajay Rai from Pindara assembly segment.
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