Varanasi : A day before filing his nomination for the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a mega roadshow here on Thursday, drawing massive crowds, before culminating the show of strength with the “Ganga aarti” at the Dashashwamedh ghat.
Soaring the political temperatures, Modi was joined by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior BJP leaders in the temple town, on a day the Congress ended the speculation over Priyanka Gandhi Vadra contesting the polls against the prime minister by announcing Ajay Rai’s candidature from Varanasi.
Later, addressing a meeting here, Modi said while the last five years were about his government making sincere efforts, the next five will be about results.
He also laid stress on national security and said a new India gives a befitting reply to terror.
“Grateful for the warmth and affection!,” Modi tweeted after the commencement of the seven-km roadshow, which passed through several parts of the city, including the Lanka, Godhalio and Assi areas, amid a cheering crowd wearing saffron-coloured attires and showering rose petals.
The prime minister started his roadshow by garlanding the statue of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founder Madan Mohan Malviya.
Wearing a saffron kurta and a white pyjama along with a matching saffron scarf, Modi waved at the people who lined up on both sides of the road and jostled to get a glimpse of him.
Chants of “Modi, Modi” rent the air as BJP supporters danced to music and the beating of drums in front of huge banners reading “Main bhi chowkidar”.
Modi is on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency and is scheduled to file his nomination on Friday in the presence of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi, who contested from two seats — Varanasi and Vadodara in Gujarat — defeated Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from here. Congress’s Rai had finished third.