Varanasi: After filing his nomination from Varanasi parliamentary constituency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed gratitude to people of temple city for blessing him even after five years and urged voters to cast vote on the polling day.
"I thank residents of Varanasi for their support. Thankful for the love I got. I deeply express gratitude towards people of Kashi. They have again blessed me after five years. Such a grand roadshow yesterday was possible only in Kashi. I urge all the voters to cast their respective votes. Come out and vote in huge numbers," Modi told reporters here.
The Prime Minister also urged people to not believe anyone who discourages them from exercising their franchise.
He added, "Some are making an atmosphere that Modi has already won, so it would be fine if you don't cast your vote. I request you all to not fall for it. Voting is your right, this is a festival of democracy, one should vote to make democracy stronger. I urge all the people not to believe them and to come out and vote. People should vote in large numbers to make the country strong."
Modi filed his nomination to fight the ongoing Lok Sabha elections from the Varanasi parliamentary constituency, the seat from where he handsomely won the 2014 general elections.
Varanasi, earlier known as Banaras, will vote in the last phase of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections on May 19.
Almost all prominent leaders of the BJP, as well as members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), were present with Modi.
Modi is seeking a second term in office from Varanasi, a parliamentary seat he won in 2014, defeating Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal by a massive margin of 3.37 lakh votes.
Modi stormed to power in 2014 general elections with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) winning 282 of the Lok Sabha's 543 constituencies. The BJP won an absolute majority in 2014, reducing the then-ruling Congress to a miserly 44 seats.
During the 2014 general elections, Modi had contested and won from Vadodara in Gujarat as well as from Varanasi but retained the latter after trouncing Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal with a massive margin of 3.37 lakh votes.
A day before filing nomination Modi on Thursday held a roadshow and performed Ganga aarti in Varanasi.
The Prime Minister began the mega roadshow after paying tributes to Pt Madan Mohan Malviya's statue outside Banaras Hindu University. The rally, spanning over six kilometers, passed through Lanka and Madanpura areas of the city and came to an end at the famed Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Immersed in devotion, Modi listened to hymns performed on the bank of river Ganga and later performed Aarti at the ghat of the holy river.
The counting of votes will take place on May 23.
Keep yourself updated on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 with our round-the-clock coverage -- breaking news, updates, analyses etc all. Happy reading.