BJP leaders focus on Varanasi for clean sweep in Modi’s Lok Sabha seat
Of all the places listed for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visits in his Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency on Monday, perhaps the most crucial is Gadhwa Ashram. This ashram in the outskirts of Varanasi city has considerable followers in different section of the society, especially among the OBCs.
And politicians from different parties have come here seeking blessings for several years now. Top party leaders, including Union ministers, have approached voters in different areas of the city. Varanasi will go to polls on March 8. Here is a closer look at its five seats:
BJP’s SR Choudhari has never lost this seat since 1989, but this time it has selected Neelkanth Tewari. Modi on Saturday got Choudhari to accompany him during his visit to Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Congress-SP alliance candidate is Rajesh Mishra. BSP has fielded Rakesh Tripathi.
A BJP stronghold, till 2012 this seat was represented by Harishchandra Srivastva. His wife Jyotsana won in 2012. Now, son Saurabh is BJP nominee. Congress-SP alliance has fielded former MLA Anil Srivastava. BSP has selected Rizwan Ahemad.
This seat was won by BJP candidate Ravindra Jaiswal in 2012. He is again trying his luck. BSP has fielded Sujit Maurya, Congress-SP alliance’s nominee is AS Ansari.
Having a good presence of Patel voters, Rohania seat is in news because of the political battle between BJP’s ally Apna Dal headed by Union minister Anupriya and her mother Krishna Patel. Krishna is contesting from this seat as nominee of her own faction of Apna Dal. It was this seat from where Anupriya entered the state assembly in 2012. In the by-election, SP’s Mahendra Patel won this seat. BJP-Apna Dal (Anupriya faction) has fielded Surendra Narain Odhe while SP-Congress alliance’s candidate is Mahendra Patel. BSP has selected Pramod Singh as its nominee from this seat.
SP candidate and its Patel face Surendra Patel is trying his luck to enter the state assembly for a fourth term. BJP-Apna Dal’s nominee is Neelratan Patel alias Neelu. BSP has apparently troubled the BJP by fielding a Brahmin face Mahendra Pandey from this seat.