Varanasi Lok Sabha Chunav 2019: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek re-election from Varanasi in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Barring 2004, the BJP won all the parliamentary elections since 1991.
The Election Commission of India on Sunday released the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections. The seven-phase polling will start from April 11 and culminate on May 19. Counting of votes will be taken up on May 23 and final results will be declared on the same evening.
In Varanasi, the seat which Prime Minister Narendra Modi represents, polling will be held in the last phase on May 19. Varanasi falls in eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. Situated on the banks of river Ganga, the seat is traditionally a BJP stronghold. Barring 2004, the BJP won all the parliamentary elections since 1991.
In 2014, Modi contested Lok Sabha polls for the first time. He was successfully elected from Varanasi, defeating Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Arvind Kejriwal by a huge margin of over 3.70 lakh. Congress’ Ajay Rai came at distant third with 75,000 votes.
The BJP had even released a separate manifesto for the city and stationed its top brass in last few days to seek votes in favour of Modi. This time as well, the party is redrawing its plans extensively and getting its cadre ready for a whirlwind campaign.
In 2014, Modi had also successfully contested from Vadodara in Gujarat in 2014 but he relinquished the set later as he decided to retain Varanasi.
The Varanasi parliamentary seat covers five assembly seats – Rohaniya, Varanasi North, Varanasi South, Varanasi Cantonment and Sevapuri. In 2017 Assembly poll, of these five assembly seats, the BJP won four while Sevepuri went to its ally Apna Dal.
This time, PM Modi is likely to seek re-election from Varanasi given that he enjoys a good public support and BJP has a strong cadre on the ground. However, there are rumours that PM Modi may contest from Puri in Odisha where polling will be held on April 23.