Supporters of Modi, Joshi in poster war

Supporters of Modi, Joshi in poster war

Supporters of Modi, Joshi in poster war

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi may not have zeroed in on his constituency, but party workers have already launched a signature campaign in Varanasi, urging him to contest from the constituency. 

The campaign has triggered a war of sorts with supporters of the BJP’s sitting MP from Varanasi, Murli Manohar Joshi.

The Gujarat chief minister’s supporters have formed what they call the “Modi Army”, putting up banners, posters and hoardings across the temple town asking him to contest from the constituency. Joshi’s supporters have also put up posters and hoardings in his favour.

“The people of Kashi want Modi to contest from here. Joshiji must withdraw in Modi’s favour. He can contest from some other seat,” said Dharmendra Gupta, the chief of “Modi Army”, while putting up a poster.

Modi’s supporters said they plan to collect 5 lakh signatures from across the city and send it to the BJP’s central leadership in Delhi.

Modi’s supporters were stopped from undertaking their signature campaign by the police on Friday and a minor scuffle ensued. “They have not taken permission for the campaign,” the police said.

Gupta said that the BJP would stand to gain immensely in the eastern region of Uttar Pradesh if Modi contested from Varanasi. “It will have a tremendous impact on our electoral prospects,” he asserted.

Joshi has also launched his campaign from the town. He has been sending SMSes to the people exhorting them to support him in the polls. He had also, a few days back, reiterated that he would be contesting from Varanasi. 

Joshi clear

“I have said it many times that I am contesting from Varanasi,” Joshi had said.Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal could contest from Varanasi if Modi chooses to contest from there. Senior AAP leaders Manish Sisodia and Sanjay Singh had recently said that the party wanted Kejriwal to contest from Varanasi if Modi contested from there. 

“People want Kejriwal to challenge Modi and he (Kejriwal) respects public sentiment,” Singh had said.