Narendra Modi's supporters didn't wait for the formal announcement declaring him the Lok Sabha candidate from Varanasi seat, as they had taken it for granted that BJP's PM nominee would get the ticket, despite Murli Manohar Joshi's reluctance to vacate the seat.
And when the announcement came finally, the celebrations only got noisier. Slogans like 'Har har Modi, ghar ghar Modi' rent the air as cadres took to streets.
In Varanasi's Chitranjan Park on the Dashashwamedh Ghat road, BJP workers burst fire crackers and danced to drum beats. Some ecstatic Modi fans predicted that all his opponents would "lose their security deposits".
"The victory of Rajnathji and Modiji is now a foregone conclusion. In fact it's just a formality," said Anup Jaiswal, a BJP worker. Shopkeepers and some local residents also joined in the celebrations that continued till late in the night.
A large number of BJP workers assembled at the party office in Gulab Bagh to celebrate Modi's candidature from Varanasi.
"We were busy tuning in to Delhi for latest updates. There was considerable hype around Lucknow and Varanasi. We welcome the announcement. It would help the BJP regain the lost ground in the state," senior BJP worker Hero Bajpai said.
Senior advocates SK Kalia and LP Mishra were among those who welcomed the announcement.
"Now one of these two constituencies would surely become PM constituency again while the other would acquire VVIP tag. This would certainly give a fillip to the development of these cities," they said.
In Lucknow, BJP workers celebrated the candidature of party president Rajnath Singh. A party leader, reacting to the development said he has seen Rajnath rise in the party from the days when he lost assembly polls to a Samajwadi Party candidate from Mahona constituency, part of Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.
"He would surely post a big win this time. Not for nothing has he travelled so quickly in the BJP hierarchy," a party leader said.
BJP youth wing leader Raghvendra Mishra said both Modi and Rajnath would be accorded a rousing welcome when they visit Varanasi and Lucknow after Holi.