Priyanka storms Modi fort with roadshow

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (C) gestures along with other party leaders during a roadshow election campaign in Varanasi on Wednesday. AFP

In an impressive show of strength, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Wednesday held a roadshow in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi.

The roadshow, that followed the route which was taken by Modi during his roadshow a few days back, drew large crowds and narrow roads from Lanka to Godaulia localities turned into a sea of people.

Priyanka began her roadshow after garlanding the statue of Madan Mohan Malviya, the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in a specially-designed vehicle.

The five-kilometre long roadshow passed through Bhadaini, Assi, Sonarpura, Shivala, Madanpura localities before ending at Godaulia. The route was chosen carefully and it also included the Muslim-dominated areas.

Slogans of "chowkidar chor hai" rended the air as Priyanka's roadshow moved forward from Lanka. People in large numbers had lined on both sides of the road to have a glimpse of Priyanka, who waved at crowds.

Flower petals were also showered on the Congress general secretary by the people from the rooftops of the houses. People were seen clicking pictures of Priyanka, who also shook hands with a group of women during the roadshow.d

The Congress leader also got down from her vehicle at some places and met the people. At Assi, some locals gave her a bottle filled with "polluted" water from the Ganga. 

She also got down there after being informed that there was an open nullah, that fell straight into the Ganga.

Priyanka was also welcomed at several places along the route of the roadshow. At Bhadaini, some seers also blessed her.

In Muslim localities of Shivala and Madanpura, a large number of Muslim women were seen crowding the balconies of their homes to have a glimpse of Priyanka.

Priyanka was accompanied by the Congress candidate Ajai Rai and Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. 

The entire stretch of the roadshow was decked up with flowers and Congress flags fluttered atop houses. 

At the beginning of the roadshow, a BJP worker was thrashed by Congress workers after he raised slogans against the Gandhis. 

Priyanka is also likely to offer prayers at the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Kal Bhairav temple.

Polling in Varanasi is scheduled for May 19.

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