PM Modi files nomination from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat

Astrologer who decided the muhurat for the Ayodhya Ram Mandir consecration cited as proposer

Updated - May 14, 2024 09:34 pm IST

Published - May 14, 2024 12:48 pm IST - Varanasi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accompanied by U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath files his nomination papers for Lok Sabha elections, in Varanasi, on May 14, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accompanied by U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath files his nomination papers for Lok Sabha elections, in Varanasi, on May 14, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 14, accompanied by National Democratic Alliance (NDA) leaders, Chief Ministers of various NDA-ruled States, and Union Ministers, filed his nomination papers to contest the Lok Sabha election from Varanasi.

“My relationship with my Kashi is amazing, inseparable and incomparable... all I can say is that it cannot be expressed in words!” Mr. Modi, contesting from Varanasi for the third time, said before filing his nomination in a post in Hindi on social media platform X.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Follow live updates from May 14

The whole day was full of symbolic gestures alluding to the specific characteristics of Varanasi or the choice of proposers for his nomination. The Prime Minister started his day by offering prayers at the Dashaswamedha Ghat and at the Kaal Bhairav temple in the city. Offering prayers at the Kaal Bhairav temple is widely believed to be mandatory for anyone wishing to prosper in Varanasi.

Following the temple visit, he proceeded to the Varanasi Collectorate to file his nomination papers, with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and two of the four proposers of his nomination accompanying him inside the Collector’s office.

Four proposers for Modi from Varanasi

Among the four proposers of Mr. Modi’s nomination were Pandit Ganeshwar Shastri Dravid, who decided the muhurat or auspicious time for the consecration ceremony of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and also the ground-breaking ceremony for the temple; Baijnath Patel, a long-time Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionary; and Lalchand Kushwaha and Sanjay Sonkar, both associated with the BJP.

Mr Shastri Dravid was chosen to decide these muhurat’s to reconcile Hindu traditions of the north and south of India as his family migrated from Thiruvisainallur in Tamil Nadu a couple of centuries ago. His father, Laxman Shastri, has been credited with the establishment of Shri Vallabhram Shaligram Sangved Vidyalaya in Ram Ghat.

The social composition of the group of four proposers is interesting in that it comprises a Brahmin (Mr. Shastri), a Kurmi (Mr. Patel), a Kushwaha, and a member of a Scheduled Caste community (Mr. Sonkar), a wide social spectrum that has extended support to Mr. Modi and the BJP since 2014.

While Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was absent from the event citing ill health, BJP chief J.P. Nadda, Union Ministers Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh, Hardeep Singh Puri, Anupriya Patel and Ramdas Athawale were present, as were Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad Sangma, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu, Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss, and Jana Sena Party president Pawan Kalyan.

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