Modi led 'one-man show' in VaranasiIndia PM Narendra Modi

Virendra Singh Rawat

While the mercury breached the 45 degree Celsius mark in Uttar Pradesh, the parliamentary constituency of Varanasi or Kashi exhibited remarkable candour coping up with the searing heatwave as well as the political heat generated by the 2024 Lok Sabha electioneering.

Varanasi, which witnessed polling in the seventh and last phase on June 1, remained uncharacteristically silent without any overt wave or an undercurrent for any candidate.

Nevertheless, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was seeking a third consecutive term from the now VIP constituency, led the one-man show in Kashi in the proverbial battle of the votes.

The larger-than life persona Modi acquired after getting elected from Varanasi in 2014, becoming the PM and emerging as a global figurehead kept him in good stead even in the face of the Samajwadi Party and Congress joining hands to upend the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at the hustings.

A walk through the dusty and non-descript bylanes of Varanasi or Kashi, which is reckoned as one of the oldest living cities in the world, broadly concurred with similar sentiments and opinions.

The common refrain among the people of Varanasi used to be “who else than Modi” of “a PM never loses an election” when asked about their preference of the candidates in fray.

They conceded that Modi’s clever political messaging and his overarching persona resonated well in the holy town.

The INDIA bloc comprising SP and Congress had fielded Ajay Rai, a former BJP legislator from Varanasi before he joined the Congress after apparently facing neglect from the saffron party. In the past, Rai unsuccessfully contested against Modi.

Varanasi parliamentary constituency comprises five assembly segments viz. Rohaniya, Varanasi North, Varanasi South, Varanasi Cantonment and Sevapuri.

Interestingly, the minorities also accepted that Modi’s win from Varanasi was a foregone conclusion although they voiced their note of dissent over the political narrative at play centred around alleged communalism.

Varanasi comprises a spectrum of communities forming the electorate including Brahmins, Rajputs, Bhumihars, Muslims, Other Backward Castes (OBC) and dalits.

Apart from Varanasi, the constituencies that witnessed polling on June 1 include Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushi Nagar, Deoria, Bansgaon, Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Mirzapur, and Robertsganj.

In the run up to the polls, Modi, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and union home minister Amit Shah addressed rallies, roadshows and public meetings in a number of constituencies in Eastern UP or Purvanchal, which is reckoned as a socioeconomic backward region.

Moreover, Shah camped in Varanasi for several days and held closed door meetings with senior party leaders and functionaries to mobilise the BJP rank and file for ensuring that Modi won with a bigger margin than in 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In the end it trickled down to the statistics of whether Modi augmented his winning margin beyond a record tally of 500,000 votes. The counting of votes on June 4 (Tuesday) will confirm the same!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *