A day after voting, all sections of the local people, from intellectuals to rickshaw-pullers and students were seen discussing possible results of the UP assembly elections in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency that turned a poll battleground last week.
Invariably, all discussions revolved around the outcome. Different political parties’ supporters indulged in live chats at tea stalls and countered one another with their logic. While some frankly supported the BJP, others spoke in favour of the Samajwadi Party (SP).
At Bhaiya Lal tea stall near Girijaghar intersection, Anup Jaiswal, a diehard BJP supporter, said, “BJP will come out with flying colours. All equations are in favour of the BJP. High voting percentage always yielded the desired results for our party. This time, BJP candidates will win with record margin.”
No sooner did he finish than SP worker Jeetendra Tripathi countered. “SP-Congress alliance is winning. People of Kashi have rejected the BJP and accepted the grand alliance. On March 4, a huge crowd in the joint road show of SP national president Akhilesh Yadav and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is clear indication of it,” Tripathi said.
He said the crowd in the SP-Congress alliance road show was much bigger than the one by PM Modi. He referred to ‘kaam bolta hai’ slogan of the SP, citing giving example of the expressway constructed by the ruling Samajwadi party between Agra and Lucknow.
Rickshaw-puller Raju was convinced about the victory of the SP-Congress alliance. He was involved in a lively chat with his friends at Teliabagh intersection. His claim didn’t convince his counterpart Sevak Lal. He claimed that the BJP would win since Modi was working hard to bring about a positive change in the lives of poor people.
Tea-seller Bhaiya Lal Yadav said he was confident of the victory of SP-Congress alliance. “Akhilesh has carried out development across the state. He is equally popular among the youths and elderly people,” he said.
Prof Kaushal Kishore Mishra, a regular participant in live discussions at Pappu’s tea stall in Assi, said, “BJP is winning. Equations have changed after Modi’s road show. BJP will sweep the polls.”
A general store owner in Telia Bagh, Nagendra Nath Singh, said the BJP’s chances were bright for the formation of the government.
Varanasi had turned into a battleground as the PM held two back-to-back road shows and three rallies. The leaders of Congress-SP alliance – Akhilesh Yadav, Dimple Yadav and Rahul Gandhi – took out a road show and addressed a rally on March 4. BSP chief Mayawati also addressed a huge rally in Rohania.
Whatever may be the results, what is interesting is that it has become Modi versus Akhilesh in chats at various locations.
Varanasi has eight assembly constituencies. At present, BJP has three, SP-2, BSP-2 and Congress-1.