Indian Express

In Varanasi, BJP predicts 4-lakh margin

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The BJP has predicted a huge margin of “over 4 lakh votes” for Narendra Modi in Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency. BJP’s booth-wise survey said all rivals of the party’s prime-minister-in-wait would be trounced and even main challenger Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Admi Party (AAP) would forfeit his security deposit.

The party says 10.28 lakh votes were polled and nearly 60 per cent went to Modi. Party insiders claimed some 8.5 lakh votes were polled by Hindus and the majority went to Modi.

“We expect 6 to 6.5 lakh votes for Modi and a victory by over 4 lakh votes,” Ashok Dhawan, BJP’s Varanasi in-charge, told The Indian Express. Dhawan has supervised last six elections in the constituency.

The party claimed AAP president Arvind Kejriwal would lose his deposit but finish second.

“Since Muslims voted for Kejriwal, he will remain number two, but he is nowhere near Modi. He will forfeit his security deposit,” Dhawan claimed.

A candidate requires one-sixth of the total votes to save his security deposit, and Dhawan claimed none of the candidates other than Modi would secure it. There were over 40 candidates in Varanasi. Varanasi saw a record 58.2 per cent polling in the 2014 polls against 42 per cent in 2009.

Of the total 10.28 lakh voters this year, 5.93 lakh were male and 4.33 lakh female. Voter turnout was uniform in both rural and urban areas. If rural zone of Sewapuri recorded 60.8 per cent voting, a predominantly urban Varanasi South saw 60.78 per cent.

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