PM Modi converts roadshow into Varanasi carnival

The roadshow followed the route that is said to have been taken by Aadi Shankaracharya 1,200 years ago.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a road show for Lok Sabha elections, in Varanasi, Monday, May 13, 2024
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath during a road show for Lok Sabha elections, in Varanasi, Monday, May 13, 2024Photo | PTI

LUCKNOW/MUZAFFARPUR: It all appeared more of a carnival than a roadshow of a politician. On the eve of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nomination for Lok Sabha election in Varanasi, the city was opulently embellished. As the PM took out a 5-km roadshow, which is expected to have a fallout in many eastern UP constituencies, the focus of the election has clearly shifted from western UP to Purvanchal, passing through the central region after four-phase voting on Monday.

Commencing from the BHU crossing, the PM’s caravan hit Kashi’s streets even as the scorching sun showed no signs of mellowing. It culminated at Kashi Vishwanath temple around 8pm.

The PM was flanked by CM Yogi Adityanath atop a four-wheeler painted in saffron. As the evening descended, people lined-up on both sides of the roads as the Modi Rath inched on. The chariot was showered with flower petals and amid chants of ‘Har Har Mahadev’ and ‘Jai Shree Ram.’

The over 3-hour roadshow began with the beating of ‘damrus,’ blowing of conch shells, and chanting of mantras. It reverberated with the sound of ‘shehnai’ played on by the family members of Ustad Bismillah Khan, the recipient of Bharat Ratna. Youths dressed as Lord Shiva also stood along the route while the crowd was continuously chanting ‘Har Har Mahadev’.

The roadshow followed the route that is said to have been taken by Aadi Shankaracharya 1,200 years ago.

Earlier in the day, the PM launched a broadside against the opposition INDIA bloc, calling its leaders “cowards” who were “scared of Pakistan’s nuclear power.”

Addressing a rally in Muzaffarpur, the PM said: “If Pakistan is not wearing bangles, we will make them wear bangles. They (Pakistan) do not have flour, they do not have electricity, now I have come to know that they even have scarcity of bangles.” “We must look carefully at the opposition, which is full of cowards and timid people, who give a clean chit to Pakistan on terrorism,” he remarked.

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