Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s elder brother, Somabhai Modi, has shifted his base from Vadodara to Varanasi to campaign for his brother at the “grassroots level”, urging people to come out and vote for his younger brother – the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate – on May 12, when this high-profile Lok Sabha constituency goes to polls.
Sixty-nine-year-old Somabhai, who has been canvassing for his brother in Vadodara by addressing small gatherings of different communities, including Muslims, for around a month before the constituency went to polls on April 30, decided to continue the same trend in Varanasi, which is the second constituency from where Modi is contesting the Lok Sabha election.
He left for Varanasi on Saturday. There he kicked off his campaign by addressing yet another small gathering, which the campaign organisers describe as “gatherings of public from different caste, class and religion at local levels”.
While The Indian Express could not reach him for comments, his close associate, Pranav Amin, said the events planned in Varanasi will have the same trend as that of Vadodara. Here, people representing different castes, creeds and religions were invited to interact with him.
“The meetings will be informal and under no political banner. They will be attended by a gathering of around a few dozen to even a few hundred people. We have approached heads of several communities, asking them to organise an interaction with Somabhai Modi. The response in Vadodara has been immense and the success rate in bringing people out to vote in large numbers here has been quite encouraging,” Amin, who has assisted him in organising such events in Vadodara and other parts of south Gujarat, said.
Amin maintained that the meetings were not meant to seek votes for a particular political party but to spread awareness about the importance of exercising one’s right to vote, and ensuring that people come out to vote in large numbers. “These meetings are not meant to seek votes for any political party, but to give out the message of maximum voting. People are told how they lose their right to complain in case they do not cast their vote, among other things,” he said.
Earlier, speaking to The Indian Express, Somabhai had said he wanted to see his younger brother as the prime minister of the country, maintaining that he was an able leader and had a vision for India.
He held more than 70 meetings in Vadodara and other regions such as Dahod, Godhra, Naswadi, Rajpipla, Sabarkantha, Rajkot and Savli.