With Prime Minister Narendra Modi yet to declare his representative in his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi even a month after the formation of the government the Centre, at least four local leaders —- all considered close to state in-charge and Modi’s trusted aide Amit Shah —- have thrown in their hats in the ring to shoulder the responsibility.
Sources said that there are some more contenders for the ‘powerful post’ as Modi’s representative in the Varanasi would be considered as PM’s man. These contenders, too, have started lobbying for the post.
According to party sources, leaders who are in the race for the post include former MLC Ashok Dhawan, who was Modi’s election in-charge during polls in Varanasi, Lok Sabha in-charge Radhe Mohan Tripathi, state spokesperson and Varanasi Lok Sabha media coordinator Ashok Pandey and MLA from Varanasi North Ravindra Jaiswal.
Sources said that these leaders have already met Amit Shah individually and offered their names for the coveted post.
With the campaigning process for the Lok Sabha elections in the constituency mostly being handed by people from Gujarat, there were speculations that Shah may choose somebody from that state as Modi’s representative. “But the party has made it clear that representative will be from Varanasi because he would be well aware with local problems and issues,” said Ashok Pandey.
Ashok Dhawan, meanwhile, said that he has not met any leader to lobby for the post. “Whatever responsibility party will give me, I will accept and execute that,” he added.
In the absence of the MP’s representative, local people are meeting BJP leaders with their problems. “We have three MLAs and one MLC from Varanasi. The local mayor is also from BJP. They regularly redress the problems of public, but still a number of people visit party’s district and regional headquarters with their problems,” said a leader.
BJP’s Kashi region president Laxman Acharya said, “Crowd of visitors at party office has increased after formation of the government. Our office bearers of regional and district units are attending to their problems.”
The party has directed its local unit to look for a place to house Modi’s representative’s office. “We are looking for a place with large area and open space as we expect a huge rush of people wanting to meet the PM’s representative as he would be empowered to forward the complaints and requests to the Centre,” added a leader.