Seat scout­ing

Sunday Express - - INDIA -

May 2019 is some time away, but some­what fren­zied at­tempts seem to have be­gun to find an­other con­stituency for Prime Min­is­ter Modi away from Varanasi. The top ech­e­lons of the BJP are calm, but a mini storm is rag­ing out­side. Puri in Odisha is be­ing touted as an al­ter­na­tive, ap­par­ently be­cause the BJP is ex­pected to do well in the state and the PM con­test­ing would give his party a boost. The spec­u­la­tion got so in­tense in Kar­nataka that B S Yed­dyu­rappa had to is­sue a de­nial that the PM had any plan of shift­ing base there. If he de­cides to shift con­stituency, it will be nowhere but Gu­jarat, a lo­cal BJP neta claims. Patna Sahib was also thrown up as an op­tion. The reign­ing star of Patna Sahib, ‘Shot­gun’ Sinha, may be­come a Ba­narasi Babu with a lit­tle help from Akhilesh Ya­dav’s Sa­ma­jwadi Party, just to give the PM a tough con­test! Mean­while, Arun Jait­ley’s re­cent Rae Bareli li­ai­son may be a cur­tain-raiser for an­other an­tic­i­pated con­test. Needs to be seen if So­nia Gandhi calls it a day or gets down to a good fight.

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