Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to file his nomination papers from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh during his two-day visit to the constituency on April 25. Sources in the party told The Indian Express that he will hold a roadshow on both days and visit the Kashi Vishwanath temple and Dashashwamedh Ghat by the Ganga.
With Varanasi going to polls in the last phase of the Lok Sabha elections on May 19, speculation is rife over who the Congress will field to take on the Prime Minister. On Saturday, the party released nine more candidates for the polls in Uttar Pradesh but stopped short of announcing a candidate from Varanasi. With Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi seeking re-election from Amethi and Rae Bareli respectively, it is rumoured that the party will nominate Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to go up against PM Modi.
Priyanka entered active politics earlier this year after she was appointed general secretary of the Congress and made in-charge of Uttar Pradesh East.
Lok Sabha elections: candidates contesting from Varanasi
Already in the fray in Varanasi is Justice Karnan, the first High Court judge to be sent to jail for contempt of court, who is contesting for the Anti-Corruption Dynamic Party. Karnan is a former judge of the Madras High Court and Kolkata High Court.
Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad has also announced that he will contest against Modi as the grand alliance does not appear to have a strong contestant against the Prime Minister. “I will be fighting as an independent candidate from the seat as I do not want somebody, who is weakening the country, to win from Uttar Pradesh,” he had told The Indian Express.
Also eager to leave his mark, is the PM’s lookalike Abhinandhan Pathak, who said Saturday that he would fight as an independent from Varanasi.
Tej Bahadur Yadav, the Border Security Force (BSF) jawan who was dismissed from service in 2017 after he complained about the poor quality of food served to forces, is also considering tossing his hat in the ring.
Meanwhile, the 111 Tamil Nadu farmers who planned to contest against the PM have now reportedly dropped their plans after they met BJP chief Amit Shah. They were promised that their demands would be met.