General Elections 2019 – Day 45

General Elections 2019 - Day 45

General Elections 2019 - Day 45

Varanasi welcomes the PM with a massive roadshow

Varanasi put up perhaps the biggest welcome ever held in the city for anybody with over six lakh excited people lining the streets from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to Dashaswamedh Ghat.

The city turned all saffron to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he landed in Varanasi to a rousing welcome. His convoy, accompanied by leading names, crawled through the streets in a show meant to connect with local voters and give a strong message of unity and confidence to the nation. Tomorrow, he will file his nomination papers for contesting the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat.

Accompanying him at the nomination will be his NDA allies – Bihar CM Nitish Kumar (JD-U), Prakash Singh Badal (SAD, Ram Vilas Paswan (LJP), and Uddhav Thackeray (Shiv Sena). Senior party members present were president Amit Shah, CM Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Union Minister JP Nadda, among several others.

His entourage arrived at the BHU gate to cheering but well-managed crowds where he garlanded the statue of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya before proceeding in an open-top SUV towards Assi Ghat. The PM attended the famous Ganga aarti.

Congress fields Ajay Rai to take on PM Modi in Varanasi

Who is Ajay Rai? Most people outside Varanasi might ask of this largely unknown name. He is the man Congress has fielded to stand up to the mighty PM in Varanasi. Ajay Rai, 49, born in Varanasi began his political career with the BJP youth wing in 1996. He is a three-time BJP MLA, having won three times between 1996 and 2007 from the Kolasia assembly constituency. On being denied a Lok Sabha ticket, he left the BJP and contested the 2009 Lok Sabha elections on a Samajwadi Party ticket and lost. He later contested the Kolasia assembly seat in 2009 as an independent and won. He soon joined the Indian National Congress. When Kolasia constituency stood dissolved post-delimitation, he won the Pindra seat on a Congress ticket in 2012. He lost the Pindra seat in the 2017 assembly elections.

Ajay Rai is no stranger in Varanasi but has a history of violence and criminal court cases. In 2019, he stands little chance against Modi but will gain in local popularity as the man who stood up to the PM.

AAP releases Manifesto; promises full statehood for Delhi

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal along with the deputy CM Manish Sisodia released AAP manifest 2019 before the media. The manifesto’s main promise is full statehood for Delhi and support for any ‘secular Mahagathbandhan’, post-election, to keep the Modi-led NDA from coming back to power.

Speaking to the media, CM Kejriwal highlighted major issues and concerns faced by the people of Delhi – employment, women’s safety, and higher education, were mainly on account of Delhi not enjoying full statehood. He promised 85 percent reservation for resident students of Delhi in higher education institutions.

Delhi votes on 12 May and results announced on 23 May.

Will Kanhaiya Kumar make it to Parliament?

Love him or hate him, the ex-JNU student leader turned politician Kanhaiya Kumar is contesting parliamentary elections for the first time on a CPI ticket and remains confident of winning the Begusarai Lok Sabha seat in Bihar. He faces stiff resistance from Union Minister Giriraj Singh BJP and Tanveer Hassan RJD. If he wins, he plans to focus on development issues in the constituency while raising communal issues in the parliament.