Varanasi/Jaunpur, March 4: Setting the tone of the seventh and last phase of election campaigning in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi completely took over the city of Varanasi in his stride.
Varanasi today decked in the colour of the BJP was ready to receive the ‘Son of Mother Ganga’ since morning. As Narendra Modi reached Varanasi this morning and launched his 7-km long road show in an open vehicle, he was greeted by chants of ‘Modi-Modi’ ‘Har-Har Modi’ by the enthusiastic crowd of youths waving BJP flags and walking along with him.
The Prime Minister landed at Babatpur aerodrome from where he boarded a chopper to reach the gate of the BHU. He offered floral tributes to the portrait of BHU founder Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya before undertaking his 7-km road show through the narrow lanes of Benaras.
Thousands of BJP activists and supporters donning the saffron caps and waving party flags crowded the road leading to the gate.
Chanting slogans of ‘Modi, Modi’, ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Koi nahin hai takkar mein’, the enthusiastic supporters positioned themselves at various points on motorbikes to join the rally.
At the end of his road show, Prime Minister reached the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple and offered puja there to the presiding deity of Kashi. He later visited the Kal Bhairava temple also. This is the first time that Modi visited the Kal Bhairav temple.
Modi was accompanied by BJP President Amit Shah and other senior BJP leaders. The city of Benaras turned into a saffron coloured city with balloons of the green and saffron colour flying from everywhere along with the party flags.
The party activists sported saffron caps and waved party flags in the rally adding flavour to their enthusiasm.
Later addressing a rally Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday criticised the Opposition for questioning the Indian Army’s military strikes in Pakistan last year in response to a militant attack on a military camp in north Kashmir’s Uri, adding strength to the high-octane campaign unleashed by the BJP as the UP assembly poll enters its last phase.
Addressing a rally at Jaunpur after a road show in his home constituency, Modi said: “Those who question surgical strikes come to Jaunpur and ask the families of martyrs. Why politicise issues of national security?”
Incidentally, Mayawati is also holding an election rally in Jaunpur.
BJP chief Amit Shah conceded that the outcome of the UP polls could in a way be treated as a referendum on the work of the Modi government at the Centre that crossed the half-way mark.