NEW DELHI: Varanasi will be second home for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He resigned from Vadodara Lok Sabha seat on Thursday, one of the two constituencies from where he won his maiden general elections.
Retaining Varanasi seat makes electoral sense. BJP had won record 73 seats, including two by its ally, out of 80 from Uttar Pradesh thus giving it a huge lead in the overall tally.
For the state going to elections in 2017, the BJP will aim to build on its current mandate to wrest the reins from the incumbent Samajwadi
Party government. BJP will drum in the fact that Prime Minister belongs to the state, when election season will kick in.
After sending his resignation to the Lok Sabha secretariat Modi tweeted saying, “Due to people's affection, got elected from Vadodara by historic margin. Will always remain grateful to people of Vadodara.”
“I will represent Varanasi in LS (Lok Sabha). I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve Ganga Maa and work for Varanasi’s development,” he added in another tweet.
Modi who ruled over Gujarat for 12 years had complete control over the state that he merely campaigned for “50 minutes” in Vadodara that elected him with a margin of over 5.7 lakhs votes. Even during his victory speech Modi had acknowledged support from the people.
After the seat has been vacated, sources said close confidant Amit Shah could contest from there. By putting Shah from the seat, Modi may give message to the voters that he has maintained his links with the state through his close associate. As thanksgiving gesture, PM is likely to ensure that Vadodara gets adequate attention from the Centre.
The holy city of Varanasi is now likely to see renewed focus from the centre as Modi may station his own team in the city to look after its development. By creating a separate ministry of Ganga Rejuvenation, funds will flow to the city to clean up its Ghats and river. Similarly, Tourism and Urban Development ministries are also likely to pump in money for development projects.
Modi has already promised to launch clean India project from Kashi. By bringing development to Kashi he is likely to showcase, what can be done in rest of the state, with eyes on 2017 elections.
Interestingly, as Varanasi has become a key destination because of its elected candidate, reports emanating from the city suggest water and power supply were being affected owing to political interference from the ruling party.
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav also too was elected from two seats in Uttar Pradesh, has quit from his pocket-borough Mainpuri and has retained Azamgarh. ‘Netaji’ move is based on calculation that he would easily be able to win Mainpuri seat again thus adding one more to its tally, as contest in Azamgarh was a tough one.
Both Modi and Mulayam had to resign one of the seats, as under rules, a member who has been elected from two constituencies has to vacate one of the seats within 14 days of the declaration of result.