Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal will arrive in the temple town this evening ahead of the counting day on Friday for the Lok Sabha elections held in a marathon nine phases spread over 35 days.
The AAP chief will arrive here by a flight from New Delhi, and will even visit the counting centre at Paharia in the city, AAP media coordinator here, Prerna Prasad said. Nearly 8000 candidates, including top guns Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal had contested in the largest-ever electoral exercise held in Indian history.
Anti-corruption crusader Kejriwal pitted against Modi, BJP's prime ministerial candidate in Varanasi, is seeking to replicate this time, his electoral triumph in last year's Delhi Assembly polls. The exit polls have meanwhile, projected that BJP will emerge as the single largest party.
Election Commission said the counting exercise to be held at 989 counting centres is likely to be completed by 5pm and trends will be available by 11am. By noon, a final picture could emerge on who would be the major players in the 16th Lok Sabha. AAP district convener, Devkant Verma expressing confidence in his party claimed, their party was quite hopeful that Kejriwal would win from Varanasi, as he had got a huge support from the people.
If Modi loses this Lok Sabha elections from here he would never turn back to the city but Kejriwal will remain here and will often visit the city whether he wins or loses, Devkant claimed. Prasad said, Kejriwal had chosen to stay away from the election buzz for couple of days in order to carry out his meditation practise of 'vipassana', but he will reach Varanasi on Thursday.
BJP Varanasi Loksabha media in-charge, Navratan Rathi said, Modi is likely to visit on May 17 and his Lok Sabha election in-charge Ashok Dhawan will be present at the counting centre on Friday.
The counting of votes will begin at 8 AM when the postal ballots will be counted. According to EC guidelines, half-and-hour after the postal ballots are counted, the process of counting votes from the EVMs will begin.