Ahead of elections in key seats in Eastern UP which is critical for the BJP, the polarisation seems to be complete. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi will win his Varanasi seat with a much higher margin if the BJP cadres get a higher turnout this time, the transformation of Varanasi is having an impact.
What do the citizens say
At a Varanasi dialogue conducted by NewsMobile at Assi Ghat this was the dominant trend, and clearly the big mascot continues to be Prime Minister Modi.
While the Modi effect is having a spillover in adjoining seats like Chandauli which currently has a BJP MP Mahendra Nath Pandey, the SP-BSP Mahagathbandhan Will corner the minority votes.
Clearly, the trend is that Muslims will do tactical voting against BJP and efforts like Triple Talaaq have only widened the divide for them when it comes to the BJP.
In Varanasi another trend emerged, even some small traders who were not happy with GST did say that lack of a high profile candidate in Varanasi against the PM was also disappointing and was helping the vote share for PM Modi.
However right near the Kashi Vishwanath Corridor which many believe will be a game changer, A group from the minority community are vocal in their criticism that nothing has been done on the ground and that all that is being showcased in Varanasi is optics. The trend also echoed in the neighbouring seat of Chandauli.
Clearly in Eastern UP despite the Namo effect going may not be easy if the turnout is low for the BJP.
The 2014 numbers of the 13 UP seats going to polls on May 19, the BJP had won Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Kushi Nagar, Deoria, Bansgaon, Ghosi, Salempur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Varanasi.
It’s ally Apna Dal had won Mirzapur. Out of the 59 seats, NDA had 40 in 2014.
The Varanasi battle’
While PM Modi will retain his seat comfortably and even with a record number his party may not have a smooth sailing.
Watch the ground report from Varanasi
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