At the rally, the AAP chief sported a skull cap presented by the Imam of Varanasi and even paused for a few minutes to show reverence to the ‘azaan’

Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday challenged Narendra Modi to a face-to-face debate on the latter’s claims regarding development in Gujarat, while announcing that he would contest against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency.

Keeping the pressure on Mr. Modi, the Congress raised the stakes in Vadodara in Gujarat — the second constituency from where the BJP leader is contesting — by fielding party general secretary Madhusudhan Mistry, a close aide of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. The party replaced Narendra Ravat, who had earlier been named as the candidate from Vadodara.

During a road show the AAP leader took out, Mr. Kejriwal’s face and shirt were splattered with ink by unidentified protesters, who he said were “paid workers of Modi.”

Mr. Kejriwal’s camapign in Varanasi was marked by showmanship. He started the day by taking a dip in the Ganga before offering prayers at the Kal Bhairov temple, followed by a visit to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

At the rally, he sported a skull cap presented by the Imam of Varanasi and even paused for a few minutes to show reverence to the ‘azaan’ (Muslim call to prayer).

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