Five days before polls, Modi vanishes from BJP posters

A new BJP poster in Varanasi. Ashutosh Bhardwaj A new BJP poster in Varanasi. Ashutosh Bhardwaj

Days before Varanasi goes to the polls, the BJP on Wednesday replaced its candidate Narendra Modi’s election hoardings with general posters of the party. While Modi’s photographs dominated the hoardings earlier, the new posters only have the BJP’s symbol.

While a candidate’s poll expense limit is fixed at Rs 70 lakh for bigger states such as Uttar Pradesh, any hoarding or campaign material with Modi’s photograph would be included in his individual account.

Admitting that new hoardings have been put up, Varanasi BJP in-charge Ashok Dhawan said, “Modi is BJP, and BJP is Modi.”

Party spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi, however, told PTI that the hoardings had been replaced due “technical” reasons and cited the poll expense factor.

Earlier, in Vadodara too, the BJP had covered banners and posters carrying Modi’s photographs just days before he filed his nomination for the seat.

Congress candidate Ajay Rai, however, said the BJP had finally realised that Modi, being an outsider, has little popular support in Varanasi. “This is 100 per cent desperation. They have been shouting Modi sarkaar, but are now suddenly saying BJP sarkaar,” he said.