Modi files nomination in Varanasi, invokes "Maa Ganga"

Modi files nomination in Varanasi, invokes "Maa Ganga"

Propelled by a sea of saffron on the streets, Narendra Modi today filed his nomination for Lok Sabha election from this temple town invoking "Maa Ganga" seeking to galvanise support in the Hindi heartland in his bid to steer BJP to power.

Before filing the nomination from Varanasi, the second seat he is contesting besides Vadodara in Gujarat, BJP's prime ministerial nominee literally took this ancient spiritual centre on the banks of Ganges by storm.

Chanting "Modi, Modi, Modi", tens of thousands of activists of the sangh parivar accompanied 63-year-old on a three-hour long road show that wound through the streets of Varanasi in the blistering heat.

"After coming here, I felt nobody has sent me nor have I come here. I am here because Maa Ganga has called me. I feel like a small child on mother’s lap. I pray to God to give me the strength so that I can serve this city," said Modi after the three-hour-long road show.

His close aide and 'Man Friday' Amit Shah, who has been organising party campaign in UP for the last several months, immediately claimed that the road show has proved that the 'Modi wave' has turned into a 'tsunami'.

"The large crowd at Varanasi has reflected that the Modi wave in Uttar Pradesh has turned into a tsunami. The defeat of Congress, SP and BSP is certain in Uttar Pradesh. The impact of the support will be felt in Bihar and other neighbouring states," Shah told reporters.

Modi's road show was telecast non-stop by news channels as 117 constituencies went to polls in 11 states and Puducherry, provoking Congress to complain foul.

It lodged a complaint with the Election Commission seeking filing of an FIR against Modi and other BJP leaders for "serious model code violation" and provisions of the election law through live television coverage.

Madan Mohan Malaviya's grandson, Giridhar Malaviya, a retired judge of the Allahabad High Court and Padma Vibhushan winner Chhandu Lal Mishra, a noted classical singer of Varanasi, were among the four proposers of Modi. Both Malviya and Mishra accompanied Modi during filing of the nomination.

Earlier, Modi was given a rousing welcome at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) where he paid floral tributes at the statue of Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder for the renowned educational institutions.

The Gujarat Chief Minister also garlanded statues of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel at the Kashi University complex and Swami Vivekananda near the Kachheri. Modi often refers to Sardar Patel and Vivekananda in his speeches.

Talking to reporters, Modi said there was need to rid Ganga of pollution and he will put sincere efforts in this regard. He also invoked Lord Budha and Mahatma Gandhi and said he will try to make Banaras a better city.

Touching on weavers’ community of Varanasi, he said there was a need to introduce modern technology in the sector which could be made renowned world over. "It (silk industry) is our pride. I think there is a need to upgrade technology, design and marketing."

At the District Magistrate’s office, Modi had to wait for around 20 minutes to file his nomination as an Independent was filing his papers.

The road show had triggered massive traffic snarls across the city as police erected barricades as part of the security drill.

Amit Shah, close aide Modi and BJP’s UP in-charge, said the road show has proved that the "Modi wave has turned into a tsunami".

"The large crowd at Varanasi has reflected that the Modi wave in Uttar Pradesh has turned into a tsunami. The defeat of Congress, SP and BSP is certain in Uttar Pradesh. The impact of the support will be felt in Bihar and other neighbouring states," Shah told reporters.

The BJP had made elaborate arrangements to make the road show a grand success.BJP units in all the 90 wards in the city had reached the venue of the road show by carrying out procession from their respective wards.

The party had invited all sections of people to the road show and specifically requested the citizens from Punjab, Gujarat, Maharastra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, residing here.In some areas, traders had shut their shops to participate in the road show. 

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