Indian Express

Rahul’s tit-for-tat campaign against Modi, Kejriwal in Varanasi

Rahul's roadshow follows a massive one conducted by Aam Aadmi Party challenger Arvind Kejriwal yesterday and another one by Modi the day before. Tweet This
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Rahul's roadshow follows a massive one conducted by Aam Aadmi Party challenger Arvind Kejriwal yesterday. Rahul's roadshow follows a massive one conducted by Aam Aadmi Party challenger Arvind Kejriwal yesterday.

Days after Narendra Modi took on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, the Congress Vice President today retaliated by campaigning on the last day in this temple town, where the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate is in the fray. Donning a Gandhi cap, the 43-year-old leader flanked by Congress candidate Ajay Rai began his roadshow in a Muslim-dominated Gol Gadda area, waving to supporters who surrounded his vehicle.

Rahul’s roadshow follows a massive one conducted by Aam Aadmi Party challenger Arvind Kejriwal yesterday and another one by Modi the day before.

The roadshow is to conclude after about ten kms at Lanka near BHU gate, the same place where Kejriwal and Modi had begun their roadshows. In his last push before campaigning ends this evening, Kejriwal was conducting another roadshow today, while

SP leader and UP chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also had one scheduled.Leaders present in Rahul’s roadshow included Ghulam Nabi Azad, Madhusudan Mistry, CP Joshi and Raj Babbar.Congress supporters had begun assembling since early in the morning.”We are fighting to win. We are confident of our victory,” said Azad who has been camping here.

Breaking an unwritten code, Modi had addressed a rally in Amethi, where Rahul has been challenged by BJP’s Smriti Irani, on the last day of campaigning there on May 5 and had made a stinging attack on the Gandhi family.

The show of strength by Rahul came as campaign frenzy gripped Varanasi, which will go to polls on May 12 in the last lap of the nine-phase Lok Sabha elections.

A large posse of policemen surrounded Rahul’s convoy as it moved with the flag-waving crowd in the streets of Varansi.
With the sun blazing down, Congress supporters, many of them wearing tricolour caps, shouted slogans.

Rahul’s roadshow was allowed in Beniya Bagh, where Modi was refused permission by the Election Commission to hold rally due to security reasons, prompting an angry reaction from BJP.

“It is blot on the electoral process where a PM candidate has not been allowed to hold rally in his constituency. Why
were security reasons cited for Modi and not for the other leaders who are campaigning there?

“It is now clear that the permission was denied due to political reasons and not for security reasons,” BJP leader
Arun Jaitley said.

Rahul paid floral tributes at the statue of Madan Mohan Malviya at BHU’s Lanka gate as the area was swarmed by
Congress supporters. He was helped by party men as he climbed a ladder to reach the pedestal. Modi and Kejriwal too had garlanded the statue during their previous road shows.

The family members of late shehnai maestro Ustad Bismillah Khan played shehnai during the roadshow.

Earlier, the family had refused to become a proposer for Modi when he had filed nomination for the Varanasi Lok Sabhaseat on April 24.

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