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PM Modi holds roadshow in Varanasi, offers prayers a day ahead of filing nomination papers

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NewsDrum Desk
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Varanasi (UP), May 13 (PTI) A day before filing his nomination papers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday held a dazzling roadshow in his Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency and vowed to do a lot more to serve the holy city in his third term.

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"I am overwhelmed and emotional! I did not even realise how 10 years passed under the shade of your affection. I had said that Maa Ganga had called me.

"Aaj Maa Ganga ne mujhe god le liya hai (today Maa Ganga has adopted me)," he said on X.

Modi, who first contested from Varanasi in 2014 as BJP's prime ministerial candidate, is seeking a third consecutive term from the seat, where voting will be held on June 1 in the seventh and final phase of the Lok Sabha election.

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Surrounded by a sea of saffron, Modi's cavalcade covered a distance of six kilometres after which he reached the Kashi Vishwanath temple and offered prayers.

Modi said the warmth and affection of people is "unbelievable".

"During the period of the Congress and INDI alliance, this city of spirituality and faith was always neglected, but we are working day and night with the resolution of building a divine and grand Kashi.

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"I have to do a lot more in the third term of the NDA government for this parliamentary constituency that resides in my heart," Modi said in a post on X "As a servant of the people, it has always been my endeavour to make the lives of the people of Kashi easier. I am confident that a developed Varanasi will make an invaluable contribution to fulfilling the resolution of a developed India along with a developed Uttar Pradesh.

"With the blessings of Baba Vishwanath, I will always remain dedicated to the service of his Kashi. Jai Baba Vishwanath!," PM said in his post on X.

People lined the barricaded roads and gathered in balconies and rooftops of buildings - some of them holding saffron flags, balloons and small "trishuls"- along the route. Small stages were set up where cultural performances were held. Cutouts of famous people from Kashi were installed in many places.

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People from different communities, including Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, Maheshwari, Marwari, Tamil and Punjabi, welcomed Modi at 100 points in 11 zones marked out on the route of the roadshow.

Two hours after the roadshow began from the Malviya Chauraha in Varanasi's Lanka area, the prime minister reached the Kashi Vishwanath temple and offered prayers.

Modi earlier also shared a video of the roadshow on the social media platform 'X' and said, "Kashi is special... The warmth and affection of the people here is unbelievable." Several Union ministers, chief ministers of BJP and NDA-ruled states and leaders of the party are likely to accompany Modi to the collectorate when he will file his nomination on Tuesday.

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The roadshow on Monday began with Modi garlanding a statue of educationist and social reformer Madan Mohan Malviya at the Malviya Chauraha in Varanasi's Lanka area and passed through the Sant Ravidas Gate, Assi, Shivala, Sonarpura, Jangambadi and Godaulia.

A large number of women in saffron attire walked ahead of the vehicle in which Modi was standing.

The prime minister was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. The BJP's state president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary joined later. Modi will spend the night at the BLW guest house.

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On Tuesday, the prime minister will file his nomination papers after offering prayers at the Kaal Bhairav temple.

Modi may also offer prayers at the Dashashwamedh Ghat on the banks of the Ganga around 9 am, a BJP statement issued in Lucknow said.

According to the itinerary, the prime minister may also take a cruise trip to the Namo Ghat in the city ahead of filing nomination papers. Following the nomination process, Modi will hold a meeting with BJP workers at the Rudraksha Convention Centre.

The prime minister is also expected to take a dip in the Ganga river on the occasion of Ganga Saptami on Tuesday.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be present for Modi's nomination filing.

The BJP's NDA partners Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary, LJP chief Chirag Paswan, Apna Dal (S) president Anupriya Patel and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party president Omprakash Rajbhar are also expected to be present, the statement said.

Besides Adityanath, chief ministers Nitish Kumar (Bihar), Pushkar Singh Dhami (Uttarakhand), Mohan Yadav (Madhya Pradesh), Vishnu Deo Sai (Chhattisgarh), Eknath Shinde (Maharashtra), Bhajan Lal Sharma (Rajasthan), Himanta Biswa Sharma (Assam), Nayab Singh Saini (Haryana), Pramod Sawant (Goa), Prem Singh Tamang (Sikkim) and Manik Saha (Tripura) are also likely to attend the prime minister's nomination filing. PTI ABN ABN RT RT

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