The PM also raised the issue of global terrorism and said that India held the mega Kumbh mela this year but no terrorist dared to attack holy sites in five years. In the evening, the prime minister performed Ganga aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat after leading a mega show of strength of NDA in the holy city. The grand road show was held a day before he files the nomination papers from the Lok Sabha seat.
"Often people ask what has Modi done for Varanasi. But before answering that, I want to tell you all, what has Kashi changed in me. I am glad that I was able to get associated with the Vedic knowledge of the city and was able to take it forward. It not only helped in my social life, but also politcial," PM Modi said.
Addressing eminent residents of Varanasi, Prime Minister raised the issue of global terrorism and said that India held the mega Kumbh mela but no terrorist dared to attack holy sites in five years. In the evening, the prime minister performed Ganga aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat after leading a mega show of strength of NDA in the holy city. The grand road show was held a day before he files the nomination papers from the Lok Sabha seat.
WATCH | Kashi Corridor: PM Modi's Dream Project In Varanasi Sparks Anger
The 700-metre Kashi Vishwanath Temple Corridor, which aims to link Ganges River with Kashi Vishwanath temple, might be referred to as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's pet project in his constituency.
Former Prime Minister and JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda had earlier expressed apprehension that a second chance to prime minister Narendra Modi would ruin the country and its Constitution. Speaking at a joint public meeting addressed by Congress and JD(S) leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, Gowda said, "Under the ego of having won 282 seats, Narendra Modi is out to destroy the nation." He insisted that the country did not belong to the people of one faith, but of all those who practised different religions, whether be it Islam, Christianity, Jainism and Hinduism. Gowda also reminded the people to understand the "hollowness" in Modi's speech. "With folded hands I want to tell you that Modi's talks are hollow. You please understand this. If by chance Modi becomes prime minister again, there will be a situation where the Constitution written by B R Ambedkar would be destroyed. I am saying this with experience.I can give many examples how the system has been destroyed in the country," Gowda said.
Earlier at a rally in Karnataka's Bengaluru, Prime Minister Narendra Modi mocked the Congress' "dream" of forming a government at the Centre and castigated it on national security and Jammu and Kashmir issues, asking people to punish it in such a way that the party would not be able to save its deposits in the Lok Sabha polls. He said the Congress has promised to remove the Army from Jammu and Kashmir, saying "exactly what Pakistan says word to word in Pakistan's language". Devoting most parts of his speech to national security, Modi said the Congress had spoken about coming to power in its manifesto and added, "who can stop one from dreaming? " "But let them dream about forming the government. I can understand it because a chaiwala has robbed the opportunity of four generations of Sultanate," he said.
CLICK TO READ | For Anurag Kashyap, Nitin Gadkari is 'Far Better' Option Than Modi as Next PM
Along with Kashyap, more than 600 artists, including Amol Palekar and Naseeruddin Shah, recently signed a letter asking people to 'vote BJP and its allies' out of power.
At a recent rall, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee dubbed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a "big fascist leader" running the country as per his whims, and urged people to not "waste" their votes on the Congress and the CPI(M). She reiterated that her party, the Trinamool Congress, will play an important role in ousting Modi, and forming the new government. Banerjee hit out at the BJP for taking out armed Ram Navami rallies at various parts of the state, and accused the saffron party of trying to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of Bengal.
Taking a dig at Congress, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Thursday said he was "disappointed" by the party's decision of not fielding Priyanka Gandhi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after building up a "suspense for an eventual thriller" in the Lok Sabha elections. Modi is contesting from Varanasi for the Lok Sabha and there were speculations that Congress would field Priyanka against him. However, the party Thursday again named Ajay Rai, a political lightweight who was a distant third after Modi and Arvind Kejriwal in the 2014 general election, as its candidate from the holy city. "The build-up of the last two weeks had been that Priyanka would be fielded against the Prime Minister. She rejoiced in giving daily bytes to the media that she was ready to take on the Prime Minister. Her brother (Congress President Rahul Gandhi) claimed that the party was building up the suspense for an eventual thriller. "Obviously, she quietly chickened out of the contest. I am deeply disappointed with the Congress party's decision of not fielding Priyanka from Varanasi," Jaitley wrote in a Facebook post titled 'Refuge in Wayanad and a Refuge Away From Varanasi The Story of a Family Dynasty'.
CLICK TO READ | PM Modi to Address Rally in Ambedkar Nagar on May 1, Skip Disputed Ayodhya Site
The PM's rally aims to address voters of Ambedkar Nagar, which goes to poll in the sixth phase on May 12, and Faizabad that will vote in the fifth phase on May 6.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address a public rally at Gosaiganj under Ambedkarnagar Lok Sabha constituency. Though the rally spot is located close to the area between Ayodhya and Ambedkarnagar, Modi has no plans to visit the disputed site of 'Ram Janmabhoomi' in Ayodhya. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior BJP leaders are expected to accompany the Prime Minister during the rally. BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi told News18, “Ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election, Modi had addressed a rally along the Basti and Ayodhya border, but then too, he didn’t visit the spot where Ram Lalla was born. This time, also, he would not pay a visit to the Ram Lalla, as wherever the PM goes, members of national and international media accompany him. And if a PM goes to a place where Lord Ram is living in a tent, it won’t present a good picture in front of the international media. He will definitely pay a visit once a grand Ram Temple is constructed in Ayodhya.”
Can Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Varanasi dominance lift BJP across Uttar Pradesh? A discussion on CNN-News18 tonight.
The BJP said JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will accompany Modi as he files his nomination around 11.30 am on Friday. Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch and former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan will also be in attendance, the party said.
CLICK TO READ | No Priyanka Gandhi vs PM Modi Clash as Congress Repeats Ajay Rai From Varanasi
Ajai Rai, a local strongman from the Bhumihar community, had joined the Congress in 2009 after he won a by-election from Kolasla assembly constituency as an independent, months after being denied a Lok Sabha ticket by the BJP and joining the Samajwadi Party.
In a show of strength, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was joined by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior BJP leaders. He started his 7-km roadshow by first garlanding the statue of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founder Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya. The roadshow ended at the Dashashwamedh Ghat where Modi took part in the Ganga aarti along with BJP president Amit Shah.
CLICK TO READ | PM Modi to File Nomination Papers from Varanasi on April 26 with Mega Roadshow
PM Modi had contested and won from the Lok Sabha constituency of Varanasi by defeating AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by a huge margin.
PM Modi Performs Ganga Aarti | After holding a mega roadshow in Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is performing Ganga aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat, a day before he files the nomination papers from the Lok Sabha seat. PM Modi can be seen seated along with BJP chief Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and party's UP president Mahendra Nath Pandey.
CLICK TO READ | Dear Priyanka Gandhi, Tamasha Around Varanasi Was Not Good For Your Image or Your Party
It was bizarre and strange that Priyanka versus Narendra Modi narrative was started by the Congress and stoked by 'sources' till it turned out to be a hoax.
In the show strength, PM Modi is joined by Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior BJP leaders.
Varanasi: PM Narendra Modi arrives to perform Ganga aarti at Dashashwamedh Ghat. UP CM Yogi Adityanath, BJP President Amit Shah & UP BJP chief Mahendra Nath Pandey also present. pic.twitter.com/M2rxJ2z0rQ— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) April 25, 2019
Modi Supporters Line Streets | Modi is likely to visit Kaal Bhairo temple to offer prayers before heading to district headquarters to file poll papers. Nearly 6 lakh people are said to have followed Modi's fleet when he was moving towards the Dashashwamedh Ghat. Residents could be seen showering quintals of flower petals on Modi, when he passed through the city streets during his roadshow.
On Friday, the prime minister will address booth heads and workers at 9.30 am and then offer his obeisance to Kal Bhairav at 11 am. "In this (nomination) programme, senior SAD leader and former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, central minister and president of the Lok Janshakti Party, Ram Vilas Paswan, will be present," the party had said in a press release. Leaders of the AIADMK, the Apna Dal and the North-East Democratic Alliance will also be present, it said.
The show of strength takes place on a day the Congress ended all speculation about its general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra taking on Modi in the city. The Congress has again fielded Ajay Rai from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat. He had finished third in 2014. The BJP said JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will accompany Modi as he files his nomination around 11.30 am on Friday. Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch and former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan will also be in attendance, the party said.
Modi started the show of strength from the campus of the Benaras Hindu University by paying respects in front of a statue of Madan Mohan Malviya at a specially constructed stage in front of the main gate of the varsity. The rally was originally to start at 3 pm, but was delayed by over two hours.
Congress’ eastern UP incharge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will not lock horns with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Varanasi as the party announced that it would repeat Ajay Rai from the seat. Rumour mills were abuzz with the news of the Congress fielding Gandhi after she hinted that she was ready to take on PM Modi if party chief Rahul Gandhi decided.
Meanwhile, the Aam Aadmi Party released its manifesto for the 2019 election, with the focus on full statehood for Delhi. Party chief Arvind Kejriwal also launched a scathing attack on the Congress, saying the AAP made several efforts for an alliance but was snubbed by the grand old party. “We had never dreamt of a ‘gathbandhan’ with Congress but today, keeping in mind the Modi-Shah challenge, we decided to have a ‘gathbandhan’ on 33 seats. We made all efforts in the past two months but had a feeling that they did not want an alliance. They put conditions but went back on them repeatedly,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is set for his mega roadshow in Varanasi, attacked the Opposition at a Darbhanga rally, saying those who had questioned the air strikes in Pakistan’s Balakot were now doubting the credibility of EVMs as they were sure of losing elections. Modi will also take part in the ‘Ganga aarti’ in Varanasi today, before he files his nomination on Friday. PM Modi’s event will be a show of strength as all the prominent leaders in the National Democratic Alliance will accompany him.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will kick-off their election campaign in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh respectively. While Priyanka Gandhi will hold a roadshow in Jhansi, Rahul Gandhi will campaigning in Rajasthan’s Jalore, Ajmer and Kota districts. In UP, Priyanka Gandhi will also rally in Gursarai and Jalaun.
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