NDA leaders join Narendra Modi’s show of strength as he files nomination from Varanasihttps://indianexpress.com/elections/amid-ndas-show-of-strength-pm-narendra-modi-files-nomination-from-varanasi-5695851/

NDA leaders join Narendra Modi’s show of strength as he files nomination from Varanasi

Expressing his gratitude to the people of Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi after filing his papers said, "Thankful to the people of Kashi. They have again blessed me after 5 years."

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Prime Minister Modi files his nomination in Varanasi (Source: Twitter/BJP)

Senior leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the BJP by his side, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday filed his nomination from Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi’s Lok Sabha constituency. Modi is seeking a second term as MP from this parliamentary constituency, where polling will be held on May 19.

Expressing his gratitude to the people of Varanasi, Modi after filing his papers said, “Thankful to the people of Kashi. They have again blessed me after 5 years. Such a grand roadshow yesterday was possible only in Kashi. Don’t fall into trap of those who say it’s okay not to vote because Modi has already won the poll battle. Voting is your right, it’s a festival of democracy.”

Alliance partners including Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Shiromani Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal, AIADMK leader O Panneerselvam greeted PM Modi when he arrived at the District Collectorate’s office in the city. BJP leaders Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Yogi Adityanath were also present on the occasion. Modi also touched Badal’s feet before filing his election documents.

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Before heading for the nomination, PM Modi offered prayers at Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple. Earlier this morning, he also addressed BJP workers in Varanasi. Thanking them for the massive roadshow yesterday, Modi said, “I will not enjoy winning the elections if my workers lose at any of the polling booths. The party workers are the real candidates in democracy. There should only be one ‘mantra’ now: Mera booth, sabse mazboot. (My booth, the strongest). Modi winning from a large margin is not important. I am not interested in it. I am interested in seeing the workers win. I am interested in seeing the democracy win.”

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He also added that there is a “pro-incumbency” wave for the first time in the country since independence. “I have been keeping a close watch on the elections. There is a festive mood in the country from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. It is important to win the hearts of people, poll victory will automatically follow,” he told the BJP karyakartas in Varanasi.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives to file his nomination papers in Varanasi (Reuters)

Amid chants of “Phir ek baar, Modi sarkar,” by the crowd, Modi said, “Everyone knows that the elections in Varanasi are over. Now media will not show any interest in Varanasi. People of Varanasi blessed me in the roadshow yesterday. They have made up their minds, they want Modi sarkar again.”  Click here for more election news

In the 2014 elections, PM Modi won from Varanasi by a margin of 3.37 lakh votes. Derlhi Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal and Congress’ Ajay Rai were also in the fray. Rai will once again fight the prime minister in the temple city, putting an end to the speculation of Priyanka vs Modi contest. In 2014, Rai managed to poll just 75,000 votes and finished third.

Varanasi goes to poll on May 19 – the last phase of Lok Sabha elections. The results will be declared on May 23.

Follow the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 real-time on IndianExpress.com/elections. Check the Lok Sabha election schedule, your Lok Sabha constituency details as well as where Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi are campaigning in the Lok Sabha Election. On Twitter, follow @Decision2019 for the latest news and analysis.