It's Holi, Deepawali in Varanasi

It's Holi, Deepawali in Varanasi

For BJP workers in Varanasi and other parts of Uttar Pradesh, especially in the eastern districts, it was Holi and Deepawali together. After all, the BJP leadership, bowing to their demand, had nominated its prime ministerial candidate from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, replacing the sitting MP Murli Manohar Joshi.

BJP workers celebrated the announcement of Modi's candidature by playing Holi on the streets of Varanasi and elsewhere, and also set off crackers. Party workers were also seen dancing on the streets, raising slogans in Modi's support.

Many Sanskrit schools, where young boys and girls are imparted Vedic education, organised special “yajnas” (rituals) invoking the divine powers for Modi's electoral success.

The candidature was also celebrated at Sultanpur, Jaunpur, Azamgarh, Mau, Ballia and Deoria districts, besides some other places.

BJP workers appeared to be unperturbed by the fact that Modi, likely to contest from a seat in Gujarat as well, would have to vacate one of the seats should he emerged victorious from both constituencies. “I am sure Modi will win the Varanasi seat,” said Varanasi-resident BJP supporter Krishna Kumar Tripathi. 

“We have been wanting this (Modi's candidature) and had made our feelings known to the senior leadership of the party,” said BJP legislator from Varanasi city Jyotsana Srivastava.  “Murli Manohar Joshi would also have won from here, but Modi will be able to influence the results at several seats in the eastern regions in UP and Bihar,” she added.

“The people of Kashi (old name of Varanasi) wanted Modi to contest from here,” said Dharmendra Gupta, chief of “Modi Brigade”, an outfit formed by the young Modi supporters in Varanasi. “We will be voting for the future prime minister of India,” he added.

BJP workers also seemed to be unfazed by the reports that Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal could also contest from Varanasi. “Kejriwal will face a rout here,” claimed Gupta.

Another BJP MLA from Varanasi, Shyamdeo Roychowdhary, also echoed similar sentiments. “Modi is a sure winner here, and he will also make many other BJP candidates win the neighbouring seats,” he said.

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