Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, re-contesting from the Varanasi parliamentary constituency, will hold a mega roadshow here on today, before filing his nomination papers.
Senior BJP leaders said Modi will arrive on Thursday afternoon to kick off the roadshow in the temple town. The roadshow will begin from the Lanka area of the city and cover Assi Ghat, Bhadaini, Sonarpura, Madanpura, Jangambadi, Godowlia before concluding at the Dashashwamedh Ghat.
The nomination on April 26 will also see a show of strength with several BJP allies, including Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray and Janata Dal-United’s Nitish Kumar, expected to accompany Modi when he files the papers.
The road show will begin at around 3 pm after the prime minister garlands the statue of Banaras Hindu University founder Madan Mohan Malaviya, according to the schedule available now.
The procession will end at about 7 pm at the Dashashwamedh Ghat, the most prominent of Varanasi’s ghats, where Modi will take part in the evening prayers.
All the preparations for it have been completed.
On Friday, the prime minister will hold a meeting at 9 am with Bharatiya Janata Party workers at a hotel in the cantonment area.
He will then offer prayers at the Kaal Bhairav temple before leaving for the collectorate to file his papers, seeking re-election from the Lok Sabha seat.
Senior leaders from the BJP and other parties in the National Democratic Alliance will accompany Modi to the collectorate.
Among the allies attending the event are Bihar chief minister and JDU chief Nitish Kumar, Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray.
Union ministers Sushma Swaraj, Piyush Goyal, J P Nadda and Nitin Gadkari are also likely to attend, party leaders said.
In 2014, Modi won the seat by a margin of over three lakh votes against Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal.
This time there is speculation that the Congress may field its general secretary Priyanka Gandhi against him.
Modi won the 2014 elections from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat by defeating Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and Ajay Rai of the Congress.
The high-profile seat will go to polls on May 19 in the seventh phase of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.