Modi to contest from Varanasi again


New Delhi, Jan. 25: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi will contest the parliamentary elections from Varanasi, the constituency he represents in the outgoing Lok Sabha, top BJP leaders said, a day after the Congress appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in-charge of eastern UP. 

According to the Indian Media, The BJP is yet to decide on whether the PM will contest any other seat as in 2014 when he also fought from Vadodara in Gujarat. He later quit the seat for Varanasi in UP where the BJP bagged 71 of the total 80 seats.   “Prachar kya swaroop leta hai, party ko kahan se fayda hota hai, yeh uspe nirbhar karega (How the campaign shapes up, where the party will benefit, it all  depends upon that),” a BJP leader remarked, responding to speculation that Modi may pick another temple town, Puri, to create an impact in Odisha and its 21 seats of which the party currently holds one — the Sundergarh seat represented by Jual Oram.

Notably, it was Modi's famous one-liner while filing nominations from Varanasi, “Na toh mujhe kisi ne bheja hai, na mein yahan khud aaya hoon, mujhe toh Maa Ganga ne bulaya hai”, that killed the campaign of other parties and turned the tide in favour of the BJP in UP. This time, the Congress has handed over Priyanka the charge of eastern UP, which includes PM’s constituency Varanasi, in the hope that the move will influence voters in the area.

While BJP leaders claim Priyanka's entry into active politics will have “no impact”, they also say the  “strengthening” of the Congress in UP will result in a fierce triangular contest, benefiting the BJP.

A senior leader refused to read much into ally Shiv Sena’s praise for Priyanka, stressing: “They (Sena) are in alliance with us in Maharashtra and the Centre, and that is the way it will be.” 

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