PM Narendra Modi performs Ganga Aarti in Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday performed Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat in his Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency. The aarti was performed after a high-voltage roadshow which took place a day before the filing of his nomination papers. Thousands of people were seen chanting slogans in favour of saffron-clad PM Modi in the mega-show.
Speaking after the aarti, PM Modi condemned Sri Lanka blasts which killed more than 300 people on Easter Sunday. He said that not even a single temple was attacked in the past five years.
Reiterating the country’s stand on terrorism, PM Modi said that India would not tolerate this menace and BJP government has curbed it in Jammu and Kashmir.
The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate said that the saffron party has ensured national security is a priority after taking the reigns of the country in 2014.
The prime minister, who is seeking re-election from Varanasi, will be submitting the nomination papers on Friday. Before beginning the roadshow, PM Modi garlanded the statue of Banaras Hindu University founder Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. He also bowed to the supporters several times in different directions.
Senior BJP leaders, sports stars and artists attended PM Modi’s roadshow. Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister for Road and Transport Nitin Gadkari and Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal participated in the mega-show. The elections for Varanasi seat would be held on May 19 in the seventh phase.
Earlier, the Congress named Ajay Rai as its candidate from Varanasi. Reports were circulating that Congress would field Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from the high-profile seat. Priyanka was also willing to take on PM Modi as she had said if Congress president asks her to do so. However, the grand old party fielded Rai who had failed to defeat PM Modi in 2014.
In 2014, PM Modi won the seat by a margin of over 3.7 lakh votes while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal stood at second place and Rai at third. The gathbandhan of Samajwadi Party-led by Akhilesh Yadav and Bahujan Samaj Party-led Mayawati has fielded Shalini Yadav.
Before heading to Varanasi, PM Modi said in a tweet that after bumper rallies in Darbhanga and Banda, he would be heading to beloved Kashi. He added that there are a series of programmes lined up, which would give him another excellent opportunity to interact with his sisters and brothers.