Lok Sabha elections 2024: PM Modi files nomination in Varanasi seeking 3rd term as MP

May 14, 2024 | 17:10:53

PM Modi was accompanied by UP CM Yogi Adityanath along with his four proposers inside the Varanasi collectorate where he filed the nomination.

NEW DELHI: Over a decade after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was first named BJP's Lok Sabha candidate from Varanasi constituency, the longest-serving non-Congress prime minister of India is seeking a third re-election from the holy city. On Tuesday, PM Modi filed his nomination as the BJP candidate from Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency, while surrounded by his proposers as well as allies of the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

The site of Modi's nomination in Varanasi had BJP allies such as former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde of Shiv Sena, and others such as Jitan Ram Manjhi, Omprakash Rajbhar, Sanjay Nishad and Ramdas Athavale, in attendance. 

PM Modi was accompanied by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath along with his four proposers inside the Varanasi collectorate where he filed the nomination.

Before filing his nomination, Modi offered prayers at Baba Kaal Bhairav temple in Varanasi and described his Varanasi constituents as his 'family members'. Before that he offered prayers at Dashaswamedh Ghat of Varanasi and addressed Ganga river as 'mother'. 

"Ten years ago, when I came to Kashi, I said, Maa Ganga has called me. But in the last 10 years, Maa Ganga has adopted me," PM Modi said. 

"The love and blessings showered by my family members of Kashi during the road show has become an unforgettable moment of my life," Modi said, while addressing Varanasi with its ancient name Kashi. 

In the rearview mirror of Indian politics, then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's rise as prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls and subsequent actualisation on May 26, 2014, was partly made possible by the BJP's decision to make him contest from Varanasi. It was one of the shrewdest decisions of Modi's political life that helped him to lay claim on a kind of national leadership not seen since several decades.

Using his signature political acumen to strike the right chords, Modi brought together elements of Hindu civilisation, Ganga belt and Hindi heartland within BJP's larger election campaign in 2014 while pushing to de-seat Congress-led United Progressive Alliance from New Delhi's corridors of power after a decade in power. 

His candidature from Varanasi also pushed the BJP deeper into Uttar Pradesh's political skyline where the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance won a whopping 73 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 and wrested power from Samajwadi Party's Akhilesh Yadav in 2017 in the state assembly. 

As Uttar Pradesh remains a politically important theatre to win majority in Lok Sabha and lay claim to the highest seat of power in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's candidature continues to be all the more relevant in the current political climate.