PM to file nomination papers today after a show of strength

Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Friday file his nomination papers in Varanasi from where he is seeking re-election.

A day earlier he held his massive roadshow in the temple town.

Modi faces Ajay Rai of the Congress, who finished third in 2014. The Samajwadi Party and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party are fielding Shalini Yadav, the daughter-in-law of a former Congress lawmaker, as the grand alliance candidate from Varanasi.

On Thursday, Modi launched his 7-km roadshow by garlanding the statue of Madan Mohan Malviya at the iconic Banaras Hindu University.

He waved at thousands of people on the roads from the sunroof of his SUV as he took his roadshow by ancient temples and ghats.

The roadshow, that lasted for two-and-a-half hours culminated at the holiest ghat of Dashashwamedh. The PM also took part in the evening aarti at this ghat on the banks of the river Ganga.

‘World now backs India in its fight against terror’

Speaking after the roadshow, the PM stressed on national security, saying the government had dealt effectively against terrorism. He said the world now backed India in its fight against terror.

Today’s event is likely to be a show of strength of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), with top BJP leaders and allies accompanying him.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan are likely to be present when Modi files his papers.

The AIADMK, the Apna Dal and the North-East Democratic Alliance leaders are also likely to be present.

The Prime Minister will first address a gathering of BJP workers before visiting the famous Kal Bhairav temple in the city. He will then visit the city’s collectorate to file his nomination papers.