MODI TIMES MODI TIMES MODI TIMES MODI TIMES MODI TIMES MODI TIMESNarendra Modi to contest from Varanasi
TNN New Delhi | Mar 15, 2014:: The BJP confirmed on Saturday evening that its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi would contest from Varanasi in the Lok Sabha elections.
The Gujarat CM's candidature from Varansi is significant because of AAP's reported plan to pit Arvind Kejriwal against Modi if he chooses to contest from anywhere outside Gujarat.
The decision to have Modi contest from Varanasi has been driven by BJP's calculation that his presence in the state arena will be a force multiplier for the party's comeback bid in UP. The largest state, with its share of 80 seats in Lok Sabha, is crucial for Modi's plans to become PM.
Saffron tacticians feel Modi's presence in Varanasi will boost the prospects of BJP candidates in 28 Lok Sabha seats in eastern UP, of which 18 go to polls in the last phase. They feel Modi will be able to make a Somnath to Kashi Viswanath connect — a reference to the two revered pilgrim destinations of Somnath in Gujarat and Varanasi.
Senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, whose home Lok Sabha constituency is Varanasi will vacate it for Modi and will instead contest from Kanpur.
Like Varanasi, Kanpur is also considered a safe seat for BJP.
Also, while declaring the names of the candidates, BJP leader Ananth Kumar said BJP president Rajnath Singh will contest from the Lucknow seat, while leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha will contest from Armitsar.
Dr Harsh Vardhan, who was BJP's chief ministerial candidate in the 2013 Delhi assembly election, will contest from Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi.