Modi’s show of strength brings Varanasi to halt
BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday held an unprecedented drive-through in this temple town known for its narrow bylanes, after a stand-off with local administration and election authorities.
After addressing a rally in nearby Rohaniya, Modi arrived here in a helicopter and landed at Banaras Hindu University helipad.
Thereafter he began his drive-through towards the party’s central election office in Sigra area in the heart of the city.
Normally, a drive is of less than half an hour despite Varanasi’s as such slow traffic, his drive continued for over five hours as massive crowd of his supporters came out on roads, putting his motorcade and the entire route into a stand-still.
This could be Modi’s last programme, which included a stay at election office for some time before proceeding to airport, in Varanasi which goes to polls on 12 May and campaigning would end on 10 May.
Modi’s visit today also saw resurfacing of the controversial ‘Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi’ slogan by his supporters at his rally venue, on his drive-through route and during protests held by senior party leaders.
Modi had earlier requested his supporters not to chant this slogan, which is inspired by ‘Har Har Mahadev’ — a traditional form of greeting here and used in prayers of Lord Shiva.
He said that the government need not worry about his security as he was ready to die for his country.
‘It is an attack on my democratic rights. Should I not get rights that every other candidate is entitled to get. I have been denied permission to meet mother Ganga too,’ he said, while promising to come back for Ganga pujan soon.