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PM Modi Picks Varanasi Again For Lok Sabha Polls as BJP Sticks With Tried and Tested Formula

There had been a lot of speculation that in the April-May election, the Prime Minister may opt for another temple town, Puri, but Modi has decided to stick with Varanasi, the seat he retained after winning two seats in the 2014 election.

News18.com

Updated:March 22, 2019, 7:44 AM IST
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PM Modi Picks Varanasi Again For Lok Sabha Polls as BJP Sticks With Tried and Tested Formula
File photo of PM Narendra Modi.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi would seek re-election from his sitting constituency Varanasi in the Lok Sabha elections that begin next month, the BJP announced on Thursday as it released its first list of 184 candidates.

There had been a lot of speculation that in the April-May election, the Prime Minister may opt for another temple town, Puri, but Modi has decided to stick with Varanasi, the seat he retained after winning two seats in the 2014 election.

The BJP's assessment is that having PM Modi as a candidate will help shore up its tally in Uttar Pradesh, where it had won a staggering 71 of 80 seats in 2014, but has faced setbacks in recent bypolls.

In Varanasi, Modi won with a huge margin over his rivals Arvind Kejriwal and Congress's Ajay Rai.

The party this time faces a stiff challenge in SP-BSP alliance, and a resurgent Congress, which wrested three Hindi heartland states in the assembly elections in December.

The speculation around Puri was a sign that the BJP is determined to improve its tally in Odisha, which also has an assembly election this year.

The party has not tinkered much with the formula that worked in 2014 as it repeated most of the sitting parliamentarians, barring a couple.

Home minister and senior leader Rajnath Singh will once again contest from Lucknow, while Smriti Irani will take on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi again, a repeat of the 2014 contest.

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