Focus on Varanasi as UP poll battle in last phase

Lucknow: With battle of ballots for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly entering the last phase, the focus of all political parties has shifted to the holy city of Varanasi, the Lok Sabha constitunecy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The saffron party which has a lot at stake in the last two phases of polling scheduled for March 4 and 8 has moved its war room to Varanasi, entrusting Union ministers and senior leaders with the task of strengthening the campaign with the Prime Minister in the vanguard.

The BJP is also faced with the target of quelling resentment in certain quarters over senior leaders being denied party ticket in these elections.

The importance of the area comprising 89 constituencies, which go to polls in 14 districts of on March 4 and 8, is strengthened by the fact that the prime minister is scheduled to address public meetings in Jaunpur, Mirzapur and Varanasi on March 3, 4 and 5, respectively.

Following in the footsteps of the BJP is the SP-Congress combine which has also shifted its focus to Varanasi and its campaign strategist Prashant Kishor and his team members are busy crafting Varanasi area-specific strategy.

Taking the BJP and PM head on, the SP-Congress has launched a “Dard-e-Banaras” campaign highlighting the disillusionment among the electorate over Modi’s “false promises and no delivery”.

Team PK has launched three videos of less than two-minute each which are played from the campaign raths or video vans around Varanasi.

Kishor claims that till date they have reached about 2,00,000 Facebook and Whatsapp users around Varanasi within a span of just a couple of days.

The volunteers of the team are also holding door-to-door campaign armed with publicity materials and personal letters from Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and street plays.

Central leaders are holding press conferences to keep the pot boiling till the D-day.