The Varanasi factor: Will Modi be able to hold his constituency together?

With UP sailing to its penultimate phase of polling on March 3, Varanasi is seen as the hot bed of the BJP campaign

Uttar Pradesh, for the Bharatiya Janata Party, is crucial in terms of the Assembly elections. Unlike in the past few decades, the saffron outfit doesn’t find the going easy when it comes to voter sentiment. Though the party has been making it seen and heard that BJP is going to be the ultimate winner in the state, the reality may not be so.

BJP leaders in Delhi know that well. Things have changed in Uttar Pradesh, and the Opposition parties have grown in strength compared to the earlier Assembly election season. The Congress party has been trying to revive its potential as a formidable force, and the Samajwadi Party has brought in more muscle to its existence.

These aspects might be seen as a headache by Yogi Adityanath and his mentor Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister had arrived in the Lok Sabha after a mega win from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and he holds the state close to his heart. And that could be why he wouldn’t want Uttar Pradesh to fall in other parties’ hands. Varanasi being his constituency, Narendra Modi want to convince the people there that nothing is lost yet.

Varanasi is Modi’s LS constituency

With the state sailing to its penultimate phase of polling on March 3, Varanasi is of course being seen as the hot bed of the BJP campaign. This, because, it is Modi’s Lok Sabha constituency, and much more important than any other at the moment.

It is in this context that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to stay back in Varanasi for three full days assumes significance. Modi will be in Varanasi from March 3 to 5, which is the last day of campaigning for the seventh phase of elections. March 3 will see voters queuing up at the booths as 57 seats go the polls in the sixth phase. Varanasi district includes eight Assembly segments.

Scheduled to address public meetings in Jaunpur and Chadauli districts, Modi will want to make sure Varanasi and the rest of the constituencies would stand by the BJP this time around too. Apart from the political rallies, Modi is expected to participate in a roadshow in Varanasi like he had done in 2017 elections.

Meanwhile, putting up a strong opposition here would be Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who will address a joint public meeting in Varanasi.

PM, BJP leaders to flock to Varanasi

While the 2017 elections saw BJP pocketing six seats here, BJP allies Apna Dal (S) and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) had won one each. The scenario has changed this time around with SBSP now contesting in alliance with the SP.

Adding muscle to Modi’s presence would be Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior party leaders who are scheduled to be in Varanasi. It is being predicted that Varanasi’s election outcome holds much significance for Modi, as the 2024 general elections are round the bend.

Will Modi be able to hold Varanasi close to the party is a question that has been doing the rounds. With SP now a formidable force, and the Congress chipping in with added strength, Modi would want to keep Varanasi from slipping away. Will he be able to do that will get an answer on March 10. Let’s wait to know.

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