Question, Conjectures over Modi Contesting from Varanasi in UP

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Pundits also cite a lesser margin of Modi’s victory in Varanasi than that in Vadodara as a reason for his possible shift from Uttar Pradesh. — File photo

Will Modi shun the temple town of Varanasi to contest from either from Vadodara in Gujarat or Puri in Odisha?

Nisar Siddiqui | Caravan Daily

NEW DELHI – Na mujhekisenebheja hai, na main yahanaaya hoon. Mujhe toh ma Ganga nebulaya hai (I have neither been sent nor have I come. I have been called by mother Ganga). These were the wise words of Narendra Modi, the then BJP candidate for Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in 2014. The call was met with a thunderous response by voters in Varanasi and he won by a mammoth margin against Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party. 

Modi’s presence in Varanasi helped the BJP bag 71 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in the country’s largest state. And it was this performance which catapulted the BJP beyond the majority mark on its own in 2014. Five years on, the question is doing the rounds again — will the Prime Minister contest from the ancient temple town of Varanasi again?

The question is leading to conjectures that Modi may shun Varanasi to contest from either from Vadodara in Gujarat or Puri in Odisha. Or perhaps from both the seats. Political pundits believe that Modi jumping into the Odisha politics could be a political manouevring to wrest Odisha from the BJD’s fold as Assembly polls for the state will coincide with the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

UP appears destined to once again play a critical role in the shape of things to come in Delhi.

Pundits also cite a lesser margin of Modi’s victory in Varanasi than that in Vadodara as a reason for his possible shift from Uttar Pradesh. While Modi had won by more than 3 lakh votes in Varanasi, he had won by record 570,000 votes in Vadodara.

However, many BJP leaders continue to insist that Modi will contest from Varanasi itself. A senior BJP leader from Varanasi told Caravan Daily that the Prime Minister will be fielded from the temple town of Varanasi again. 

“He will once again contest from Kashi (another name of Varanasi) and will lead the BJP to 2019 poll victory. And he will once again become the Prime Minister,” he asserted. Political analysts from the city also believe that Modi will not take a hasty decision to leave the Varanasi seat after only a single term. Pundits argue that if the Prime Minister quits Varanasi, it may prove suicidal for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh.

“If Modi doesn’t contest from Varanasi, it will dampen the enthusiasm and excitement of BJP workers. Besides, the opposition parties will propagate that as soon as the SP-BSP alliance shaped up, Modi winded up his paraphernalia from the city. The Congress will advertise that Modi didn’t have the courage to face Priyanka Gandhi in the eastern UP and fled. But whether Modi will succumb to such pressures or choose to heed the advice of his party high command only time will tell,” said Uma Shankar Singh, a local political analyst from Varanasi.

The decision, however, will be announced sooner, rather than later considering the General Elections are barely two months away.  And from all looks of it, UP appears destined to once again play a critical role in the shape of things to come in Delhi.   

theclarionindia
theclarionindiahttps://clarionindia.net
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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