Varanasi: Amid chants of ‘Modi, Modi,’ it was a homecoming of sorts for the Prime Minister who arrived in his Parliamentary constituency of Varanasi where he will be filing his nomination on Friday for Lok Sabha elections. (Watch PM Modi’s Roadshow)
As soon as he arrived in the temple city on Thursday, the entire town seemed to have gathered on the streets for him. His roadshow to Dashashwamedh ghats for Ganga Aarti had crowds waiting for hours.
Later, the PM spoke about national security and how it was the topmost agenda for his government. Mentioning the February 14 Pulwama terror attack, he said, “Forty of our jawans were martyred in Pulwama…we have killed 42 terrorists in that area. This is our way of working.”
Adding how things have changed ever since NDA took over at the Centre, he said, “In last five years, there has been no terror attack on any religious place…terrorism is now restricted to a small area in Jammu & Kashmir.”
As to the importance of Kashi for him, the PM said it gave him the opportunity to be not just an MP but the PM as well. “It gave me the strength to respond to terrorists in the language they understand. We told them that New India doesn’t just suffer in silence, it pays them back in the same coin.”
He said, “When I took oath on May 17, 2014, I asked myself whether I will be able to live up to Kashi’s expectations. But today, I can say that with the collective effort of all of us and the blessings of Baba, Kashi is witnessing development and the entire nation knows it.”
He added, “No matter what happens, I think about the nation first. Be it Pulwama terror attack, Uri strike or any other incident in my life, my only mantra in life is Nation First.”
Meanwhile, Friday promises to be as hectic a day for the PM. At 8 AM, he will be holding a meeting with party workers at Hotel De Paris.
Then, he is scheduled to set off for Kal Bhairon temple where he will offer his prayers before filing his nomination papers. Once he has completed the paperwork, the PM is scheduled to hold a press conference at around 12.30 PM.
Reports say many prominent leaders of the BJP-led NDA and North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) will accompany the Prime Minister when he files his nomination.
Senior leaders of the BJP as well as ally party leaders like JD (U) chief Nitish Kumar, Shiromani Akali Dal patron and former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Lok Janshakti Party president Ram Vilas Paswan, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as well as many prominent leaders of NEDA will reach the temple city to mark the occasion.
“All senior BJP leaders, including all members of party’s parliamentary board, will be present with PM Modi in Varanasi on April 26.”
Others likely to make it are Devendra Fadnavis, Manohar Lal, Jairam Thakur, Sarbanand Sonewal, Manoj Tiwari, Hema Malini, Ravi Kishan, Ramvilas Paswan, and Amit Shah.