New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019 from his constituency, Varanasi. The decision was taken during Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Parliamentary Board meeting was held at the party’s headquarters in Delhi on Friday evening. The party’s top decision-making body brainstormed for almost three hours before the announcement was made.

PM Modi, BJP President Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj and other senior leaders were present at the party’s Parliamentary Board meeting.

PM Modi had won from Varanasi with 5,81,022 votes in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Varanasi has been important considering the PM and the saffron party’s allies managed to win all eight assembly constituencies in the city during the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Meanwhile, it is being widely speculated that the BJP might introduce certain criteria, including age bar, for candidates. However, a party leader said the main criteria behind selecting a candidate will depend on his chances of winning a seat. Post the Parliamentary Board meeting, BJP general secretary Bhupendra Yadav announced a tie-up with All Jharkhand Students Union in Jharkhand (AJSU). The AJSU is already a partner in the BJP-led government in the state. Yadav also said the BJP will contest 13 of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state and the AJSU one.

Ahead of the polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday visited Varanasi and laid the foundation stone of the ambitious ‘Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Vistarikaran-Saundarayakaran Yojana’ (Kashi Vishwanath Temple Extension and Beautification Plan) that would be rolled out in four phases. He laid down five bricks with the name of the temple inscribed on it in the presence of UP Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and state party chief Mahendra Nath Pandey.

“Vishwanath Dham is a project I’ve been thinking about for a long time. I’ve come to Kashi even before I was in active politics. Since then I would think that one must do something for the Temple Complex,” PM Modi had said while laying the foundation stone.

Lok Sabha Elections 2019 is likely to be held in the months of April and May. The Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to announce the poll schedule by Tuesday, a senior functionary of the commission was quoted by PTI as saying on Thursday.