It was blockbuster day on the poll front in Varanasi on Saturday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a road show and so did Samajwadi Party national president Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi jointly. Kannauj MP Dimple Yadav, wife of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, joined the SP-Congress road show.
The Congress later filed a complaint with the EC that the Prime Minister should be booked for holding a roadshow without requisite permits.
While the Congress vice president and the UP CM have held many road shows during the ongoing state assembly elections, it was for the first time that Dimple Yadav joined them on the same platform.
BSP chief Mayawati also addressed a rally on the outskirts of the city.
Forty assembly seats of Varanasi region will go to polls in the seventh and final phase of voting on March 8.
The PM, whose road shows covered areas in the Varanasi South and Cantonment assembly constituencies, also offered prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Kaal Bhairav temple here.
“Uttar Pradesh’s voters have already given majority to BJP. We will form government in Uttar Pradesh, will waive loans of small farmers,” Modi said.
In the Cantonment and Varanasi South constituencies, the BJP was facing the anger of aspirants denied tickets.
The joint road show held by Akhilesh and Rahul covered three assembly constituencies of Varanasi North, South and Cantonment. There were reports of stone-pelting from a house in the Chauka Ghat area during the road show but the police brought the situation under control quickly.
BSP chief Mayawati addressed a rally in Rohania and said “Modi mandir me chahe jitni puja kar le jeet BSP ki hi hogi (No matter how time Modi spends in worship at temples, the BSP will win).
She also said that the large crowd at Modi’s road show here earlier in the day had been imported. “They have focussed their energies on bringing in crowds from far and wide. But it is the locals who vote in an election anywhere. Our huge rally here is attended by locals, which proves that it is the BSP which enjoys actual public support,” she said.