After a mega road show in the holy city of Varanasi on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi filed his nomination on Friday. He was flanked by all top leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), including JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray and SAD patron Prakash Singh Badal. All of them accompanied Modi to the collectorate as the PM headed to file his papers, seeking re-election from the temple town. Before filing the nomination papers, PM Modi prayed at the temple of Bhagwan Kaal Bhairav, also revered as the Kotwal of Kashi. Varanasi will go to poll in the fourth phase of the Lok Sabha election 2019. The Congress on Thursday pitted Ajay Rai against Modi, ending speculation that the grand old party could field Priyanka Gandhi from Varanasi. "I deeply express gratitude towards people of Kashi. They have again blessed me after five years. Such a grand roadshow yesterday was possible only in Kashi," Modi told the media after filing his nomination.
Before filing my nomination papers, prayed at the temple of Bhagwan Kaal Bhairav, also revered as the Kotwal of Kashi. pic.twitter.com/AuEy9GjHQO— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 26, 2019
Later, Prakash Singh Badal told ANI that India had decided who their PM should be, and that there was no candidate who could match the stature of PM Modi.
Parkash Singh Badal, Shiromani Akali Dal: Hindustan ke logon ne yeh sochna hai ki humara PM kaun ho? Modi sahab se muqabale mein kaun ho sakta hai...yeh jo Gandhi hain, yeh jo jaise haathi aur keedi ka farak hota hai, itna farak hai. pic.twitter.com/3bNevGBzOJ— ANI (@ANI) April 26, 2019
The prime minister, who reached here on Thursday and brought life to a standstill as he held a seven-kilometre roadshow through the town, also addressed party workers in the morning. The country, he said, is witnessing a pro-incumbency wave for the first time. He noted that the mood is festive from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and said party workers are the real candidates.
The prime minister said he had worked honestly for good governance and the people had made up their minds that they want another Modi government. "During yesterday's roadshow here, I have sensed the hard work of party cadre," he said amid chants of "Modi Modi". Modi, who also participated in the "Ganga aarti" at the Dashashwamedh ghat, addressed a late night meeting here on Thursday. While the last five years were about his government making sincere efforts, the next five will be about results, he said.
Modi also laid stress on national security and said new India would give a befitting reply to terror. In 2014, Modi won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, defeating Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal by a massive margin of 3.37 lakh vote. Modi pulled 5,16,593 votes -- about half the total votes -- while Congress' Ajay Rai finished third. Rai is the Congress candidate again this time from the constituency that goes to the polls on May 19. BJP leaders, including party president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and senior Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj, were also present on the occasion.
manoj Sharma with agency inputs