Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with BJP President Amit Shah performs ‘Ganga Arti’ at Dashashwamedh Ghat after his mega roadshow. (PTI) 

Election 2019: Modi Holds Mega Roadshow In Varanasi, Performs Ganga Aarti

A day before his nomination, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held a mega roadshow in Varanasi, drawing massive crowds, before he culminated the show of strength with the Ganga aarti at the Dashashwamedh Ghat.

Soaring the political temperatures, Modi was joined by Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other senior BJP leaders in the temple town, on a day the Congress ended speculation over its leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra contesting against the Prime Minister by announcing Ajay Rai's candidature.

"Grateful for the warmth and affection! " Modi tweeted after the commencement of the 7 km roadshow, which passed through several parts of the city, including Lanka, Godhalio and Assi areas, amid cheering crowds, wearing saffron-colored attires and showering rose petals.

Modi started his roadshow with the garlanding of the statue of Banaras Hindu University founder Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya.

The Prime Minister, who was wearing a saffron kurta and white pyjama along with a matching saffron scarf, waved at people who lined up on both sides of the road and jostled to get a glimpse of him.

Chants of 'Modi, Modi' rent the air as BJP supporters danced to music and the beating of drums in front of huge banners reading 'mein bhi chowkidar'.

Also read: New India Gives Befitting Reply to Terror, Says Modi in Varanasi

Modi is on a two-day visit to his parliamentary constituency and is scheduled to file his nomination on Friday in the presence of NDA leaders, including Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, Modi, who contested from two seats —Varanasi and Vadodra in Gujarat— had defeated AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from here. Congress' Rai finished third.

The nearly four-hour roadshow ended at the Dashashwamedh Ghat where Modi took part in the Ganga aarti along with Shah and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. Later, Modi also performed a puja.

Fifty-year old Shyamlal Sharma, a local BJP worker who was wearing a saffron coloured t-shirt with a graffiti 'Modi forever', termed the roadshow a carnival for the city.

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

Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch and former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan are also expected to be present when Modi flies his nomination, BJP had said.

The Congress, however, said Modi's roadshow as aimed at covering up his failure of fulfilling the promises made to the people there and demanded that he should apologise for "betraying" them.

"Optics are more important than results and that is why the roadshow is being taken out as the resolve of serving the people of Varanasi that Modi ji had taken, the commitment he had shown to purify Ganga Ma, he has been completely unsuccessful in that," Congress spokesperson Ragini Nayak.

The prime minister wants that people's cries get "drowned in today's noise and show", she alleged.

Also read: Elections 2019: Election Commission Seeks Report From Gujarat Poll Authorities On Modi Roadshow