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Kejri, Diggy foray hots up Varanasi

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 | PNS | Varanasi/New Delhi

The temple town of Varanasi is headed for a high-voltage contest after AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal announced his decision to take on BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi in the upcoming Lok Sabha election. The Congress is all set to field its vocal leader Digvijay Singh from the seat.

In Delhi, a senior Congress functionary said that Digvijay Singh will contest from Varanasi since he had been a vocal critic of Modi. He said that the party felt that Diggy Raja’s nomination from Varanasi will galvansie Thakurs across the Poorvanchal belt. He referred to the experiment of naming Captain Amarinder Singh against Arun Jaitley and said it came as a morale booster for the party in the State. “We hope that Digvijay’s candidature can play the same trick,” he said.

In Varanasi, Kejriwal made the formal announcement at a rally on Tuesday evening after a day-long road show around the holy city. At two places, some unidentified persons threw eggs and ink at him. The UP in-charge of the party, Sanjay Singh, and former Delhi Law Minister Somnath Bharti were also targeted by these people. The AAP leader also faced sporadic protests during the road show. Kejriwal was quick to claim that the protesters were outsiders, who did not represent the local culture.

Terming both Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi as agents of business tycoon Mukesh Ambani, Kejriwal held the media responsible for creating an illusion in the country about Modi by calling him Vikash Purush.

Kejriwal appealed to people to ensure that Modi is defeated from Varanasi and Rahul Gandhi loses Amethi. “While Rahul Gandhi is the shahenshah (emperor) of the UPA, Modi is the same for the NDA. If you defeat both Rahul and Modi, then these armies will automatically be crushed,” he said. Kejriwal had earlier announced that he would contest Lok Sabha election from Varanasi if locals wanted him to fight.

Addressing a rally at Benia Bagh, Kejriwal said that he had decided to contest election against Modi to bring the realty of Guajrat’s development to the fore and added that he had no ambition of becoming a Member of Parliament. “The country is important to me and not the party,” he said, while addressing the gathering, which also included a large number Muslims.Kejriwal alerted the farmers of Varanasi that if they voted for Modi, their land would be given to industrialists. “Even the subsidy provided to farmers was also stopped by the Modi Government and as many as 5,878 farmers committed suicide during 10 years,” he said.

Kejriwal also attacked Rahul Gandhi and said the Congress supported Mukesh Ambani and this was the reason why the UPA Government increased the price of natural gas. He welcomed the Election Commission’s move to ask the Government to defer notifying doubling of gas price. Returning to Modi, Kejriwal said the Gujarat CM was ready to do anything to become the Prime Minister and he even reached out to MNS in Maharashtra, which attacked the migrants of Poorvanchal and Bihar. Earlier, Kejriwal reached the city by Shiv Ganga Express in the morning and had darshan and pujan at Kal Bhairav and Kashi Vishwanath temple. He also took a holy dip in the Ganga.

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