Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageIndia’s Rahul Gandhi arrives at Varanasi for roadshow

By Sravanth Verma     May 10, 2014 in Politics
Varanasi - Vice-president of the Indian National Congress party, Rahul Gandhi arrived at Varanasi on May 10 to begin his campaign for party candidate Ajay Rai.
Rai is standing for election in the final phase of the fourteenth Indian Lok Sabha elections which began on April 25 and will end on May 12. The Bharatiya Janata Party or BJP has fielded its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi from Varanasi, and the Aam Aadmi Party or AAP has field Arvind Kejriwal, former Chief Minister of Delhi.
Gandhi was surrounded by large crowds when he began his roadshow at Gol Gadda Chauraha, a Muslim dominated area. He will end his road show at Lanka Gate. Union Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress leaders Madhusudan Mistry and Pramod Tiwari were present with Gandhi.
Hindu priests performing puja at the River Ganges in Varanasi  India. © Photographer.
Hindu priests performing puja at the River Ganges in Varanasi, India. © Photographer.
Gandhi’s road show is understood as being a response to Modi’s May 5 rally in Amethi. Rahul Gandhi is contesting from Amethi, considered a traditional Gandhi-family bastion where his father Rajiv Gandhi also contested from. Generally, top political leaders avoid campaigning in the backyards of top rivals. Amethi went to the polls on May 7 in the previous phase of voting.
With high-profile candidates like Modi and Kejriwal, Varanasi is the center of attention in the last phase of voting. Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Banaras, is located in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It has been an important cultural center for thousands of years. Gautama the Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath, a few kilometers from the city.
The city has lost of its sheen in the last few decades and lack of infrastructure and support for its many craft communities have been blamed. This time around, the candidates have made these the poll issues and have promised improvements in the way the city is conducted.
Narendra Modi takes part in the 'talk over tea' broadcast and election campaign in Ahmedab...
Narendra Modi takes part in the 'talk over tea' broadcast and election campaign in Ahmedabad on February 12, 2014
Sam Panthaky, AFP
Modi is considered the front-runner, however Kejriwal is expected to have a significant impact on the vote share. AAP volunteers have been campaigning extensively, and their efforts may ensure that Modi does not have a landslide victory. Kejriwal admits this change is only a few days old. "Once you cross that critical mass, once you capture the imagination of people, then things move fast. I think that's what happened in the past 3-4 days. The caste and religion barriers have been breaking," he said.
Varanasi has an electorate of over 1.6 million. Besides Modi, Kejriwal and Rai, there are 75 other candidates, 33 of whom filed nominations as Independents. There were only 15 candidates in Varanasi in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.
More about Rahul Gandhi, Indian elections, Narendra Modi's Fast, Varanasi
More news from
Latest News
Top News