PM to Have Last Laugh in UP Cam­paign

Modi’s Varanasi rally now on the fi­nal day of cam­paign­ing so that he stays in vot­ers’ mind when bal­lot is cast

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

A COUNTER POINT

Varanasi: With the SP-Congress al­liance keenly watch­ing, the BJP has plannedamegaNaren­draModi­rally in Varanasi now on March 6, the last day of cam­paign­ing dur­ing the Ut­tar Pradesh elec­tions.

Modi will hold two pub­lic meet­ings onMarch5in­Jaun­pu­randMirza­pur in ar­eas go­ing to the polls in the last phase. The three ral­lies have been ad­vanced from the orig­i­nal sched­ule by a cou­ple of days apiece to en­sure the mes­sage from the PM stays fresh in the mind of the vot­ers when the bal­lot is cast on March 8.

There will, how­ever, be no road show by the PM in Varanasi as pro- posed ear­lier. Varanasi is the PM’s par­lia­men­tary con­stituency.

Keep­ing an eye on the BJP plans for Varanasi, the Sa­ma­jwadi Par­tyCongress al­liance has also post­poned the Rahul Gandhi-Akhilesh Ya­dav road show that was sched­uled in Varanasi for Fe­bru­ary 27.

A joint road show of the two lead­ers

A PLUS POINT

will in­stead take place in Gorakhpur on Mon­day. The last day of cam­paign­ing in Varanasi is on March 6. “We have to match up with Modi’s plan in Varanasi. The Varanasi road show of the al­liance lead­ers could hap­pen on March 5 or 6. We would like to have the last chance to re­but what the PM says,” a Congress leader said. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and So­nia Gandhi are not slated to come to Varanasi.

There is a plan in the works that the prime min­is­ter may also pay obe­siance at the Kashi Vish­wanath tem­ple dur­ing his Varanasi visit. BJP l e a ders feel the Kashi Vish­wanath tem­ple visit by PM would be “es­pe­cially aus­pi­cious” for the party, es­pe­cially as Congress Pres­i­dent So­nia Gandhi could not make it to the much-revered tem­ple last Au­gust as she fell ill mid-way dur­ing her road show in Varanasi. “You can see how the Congress cam­paign in Ut­tar Pradesh has de­railed ever since and now they had to ally with the Sa­ma­jwadi Party,” the se­nior BJP leader said. BJP has shifted its cam­paign head­quar­ters to Varanasi re­cently.

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