The Congress has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission over the "unauthorised" roadshow of Modi and urged the SP, its alliance partner for Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, to do likewise. For now, the mood of the Banaras voters is divided but not known. The Prime Minister noted that the Centre had reduced stent prices which would directly benefit people as cost of treatment would come down.
When Modi's convoy passed through Madanpura area of Varanasi on Saturday, a group of Muslims greeted him with bouquet of flowers.
This was considered unconventional, because RSS reports usually go first to the party general secretary in-charge of the organisaiton (Ram Lal presently holds this post), and then - if required - they move to the prime minister through the party president.
At another place, a group of Muslim weavers led by Mukhtar Ahmed Mehtu threw a shawl towards Prime Minister Modi's fleet, which he caught in air and put it on his head as mark of respect to the greeters. BJP has reposed faith in Ravindra Jaiswal from Varanasi (North), who won by a slender margin of 2,000 votes in 2012. Why they dont help farmers in distress?, he asked.
There are some Muslims who give credit to the Prime Minister for launching developmental schemes in Varanasi and increased cleanliness. "It is highly deplorable that people are using such an occasion to score political points", Maurya said.
Not all women? 'A Day Without A Woman' drawing crowds, criticism
The strike , scheduled on International Women's Day, aims to demonstrate women's impact on the economy and in the workforce.
While Rai still appears strong at his own seat, BJP created trouble for itself by denying a ticket to Shyamdev Roy Chaudhary. Besides there are old fault lines, including the party's Hindutva pitch, that deeply divide the community and the saffron outfit. "But what is the reason not even a single region from UP made it to the list", he said. They make it clear that notebandi has hit their business, "crippled us" as one of them insisted, and this is a loss that has eaten into their homes.
Over a dozen helicopters and private planes that were used by the bigwigs of the BSP, SP, Congress and the BJP have gone back to the hangers and have had a "good night sleep" after an arduous campaign of more than two months.
"Had Prime Minister done anything for UP, he would not have to do so many road shows here", the Samajwadi Party president said. The BJP, whose campaign has been led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is seeking power in a state it last formed government more than 14 years ago.
A host of Union ministers and top BJP leaders led by Amit Shah have been camping here to lead the party's campaign for the last phase of polls.
Ably assisted by party leaders Satish Chandra Mishra and Naseemuddin Siddiqui, she led a courageous campaign amid reports that the "elephant was a poor third" and held sway over her Dalit vote bank.