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  India   All India  19 May 2019  No contest in Modi’s Varanasi

No contest in Modi’s Varanasi

Published : May 19, 2019, 3:30 am IST
Updated : May 19, 2019, 3:30 am IST

SP-BSP alliance hopes to consolidate Opposition votes.

Polling officials at a distribution centre in Varanasi on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)
 Polling officials at a distribution centre in Varanasi on Saturday. (Photo: PTI)

Varanasi: Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s victory is certain in Varanasi, speculation is rife on the possible vote mathematics of the SP-BSP alliance. Varanasi is going to vote today in the final phase of the ongoing Lok Sabha elections. Some 26 candidates are contesting this seat.

For Uttar Pradesh, the most crucial state for any parliamentary election, it is said that this time the battle is between the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party mahagathbandhan’s vote mathematics and Narendra Modi’s personal chemistry. There are many seats in UP where the alliance’s vote share in 2014 was higher than the BJP’s. But in Varanasi, even vote mathematics favours the BJP and its candidate Mr Modi.

In the general election of 2014, Mr Modi got 5.81 lakh votes, that is, 56.37 per cent of the total turnout. The Aam Admi Party (AAP) candidate Arvind Kejriwal got 20.30 per cent of the vote with nearly 2.09 lakh votes. The other three main contenders — Ajai Rai of the Congress, Vijay Prakash Jaiswal of the BSP and Kailash Churasiya of the SP — could secure just 7.34, 5.88 and 4.34 per cent vote share respectively.

Both the Congress and SP candidates are eyeing Mr Kejriwal’s votes this time. “Yes, we will get votes from BSP supporters and those who have voted for AAP last time because they clearly voted against the BJP in 2014,” said Samjwadi Party candidate Shalini Yadav.

Political analysts have ruled out that scenario. The total vote share of the SP-BSP alliance and of the Congress is likely to be 17.61 per cent, and will not come anywhere near the BJP’s vote share. Tallying the Opposition’s vote share we get 37.91 per cent, if Mr Kejriwal’s vote share is added into it.

Interestingly, the BJP candidate for Varanasi in 2009, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, secured 30.52 per cent votes and won from here. But in 2014, Mr Modi secured 25.85 per cent votes more, taking the BJP voter base to a higher level.

The BJP is working hard for a higher voting turnout today to ensure a bigger victory margin this time.

Tags: narendra modi, 2019 lok sabha elections
Location: India, Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi (Benares)