Prime Minister Narendra Modi is greeted by BJP National President Amit Shah and Union Minister Rajnath Singh before his nomination filing (Source: PTI)

Election 2019: Narendra Modi Files Lok Sabha Nomination From Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi filed his nomination papers for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat on Friday, accompanied by top BJP and NDA leaders in a massive show of strength for the country’s ruling alliance.

As town virtually stopped in its tracks with roads cordoned off for traffic and crowds lining the streets to see the cavalcade, Modi exhorted voters to not fall into the trap of those who say he has already won the election so it is fine to not exercise their franchise.

“Some people are creating an atmosphere that Modi ji has already won (the election) and it is fine not to vote. Please don't fall into their trap. Voting is your right and everyone must exercise it,” Modi said after filing his papers.

Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U chief Nitish Kumar, Union minister and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackarey and Shiromani Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal were with Modi at the Collectorate as he filed his papers, seeking a second term in the Lok Sabha from the constituency.

BJP leaders, including party president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and senior Union ministers Rajnath Singh and Sushma Swaraj, were also present.

Four people proposed Modi’s name—former principal of Banaras Hindu University's women college Annapurna Shukla, 'Dom Raja' and 'chief cremator' Jagdish Chowdhary, from the family which lights every funeral pyre in the town, long time BJP worker Subhash Chander Gupta and agriculture scientist Ram Shanker Patel who has known Modi since his childhood.

Before reaching the Collectorate to file his nomination, Modi went to a temple to offer prayers.

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The prime minister, brought life to a standstill as he held a seven-kilometre roadshow through the town, after addressing party workers in the morning. The country, he said, is witnessing a pro-incumbency wave for the first time.

The prime minister also advised party workers to not get into a debate over who is contesting elections and who is not. He asked people to not be arrogant or over confident. “Every candidate is respectable... is not our enemy. We should be humble and politely contest the elections.”

In 2014, Modi won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, defeating Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal by a massive margin of 3.37 lakh vote. Modi polled 5,16,593 votes -- about half the total votes -- while Congress' Ajay Rai finished third.

Rai is the Congress candidate again this time from the constituency that goes to the polls on May 19.

Also read: No Priyanka vs Modi, Congress’ Ajay Rai to Contest From Varanasi