Pankaj Modi, the younger brother of BJP’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi, reached Swami Adgadnanda’s ashram at Sakteshgarh in Mirzapur district late on Thursday, to seek blessings for his elder sibling who is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Varanasi, about 70 kilometres from Mirzapur.
“Pankaj Modi tried to gauge the political scenario in eastern UP and discussed Narendra Modi’s proposed rallies in the region,” said a senior BJP leader.
The ashram is considered one of the most influential ones in the region and has a large following. Pankaj Modi’s visit to the ashram is being view as a preparatory one.
The visit comes amid speculation that Narendra Modi will offer prayers at the Vindhyachal shrine, also in Mirzapur, before launching his election campaign in eastern UP with the Bharat Vijay rallies during the Navratra festival which begins on March 31 this year. The Vindhyachal temple is dedicated to the Goddess Vindhyavasini, a form of the Goddess Durga.
In Varanasi, Narendra Modi is pitted against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal and jailed mafioso-tur nedpolitician Mukhtar Ansari. The BJP’s PM hopeful is also contesting the election from Vadodara in Gujarat. Pankaj Modi stayed overnight at the ashram and left on Friday morning.
Senior BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) leaders also visited the ashram after they came to know about Pankaj Modi’s arrival. Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Ashok Singhal was present on the occasion. Narendra Modi’s campaign will start in Varanasi with a rally for which party workers are busy finalising the venue.
The Gujarat chief minister’s close associate Amit Shah, who is in charge of party affairs in Uttar Pradesh, is expected to arrive in Varanasi on March 30 to finalise the date for the rally. The rally venue is expected to be near Babatpur as the area covers three parliamentary constituencies-Varanasi, Chandauli and Machhlishahr (in Jaunpur).