The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has invested all its might in the campaigning for the last phase of Uttar Pradesh elections with Prime Minister Narendra Modi set to hold a roadshow here today in support of local BJP candidates, a day after an impromptu tour through the winding streets of the city.
Modi is scheduled to begin his tour today with the roadshow which will commence at 4:30 PM from the Police Lines helipad where his chopper will land.
"Traversing through localities like Pandeypur Chauraha, Hukulganj, Chaukaghat and Teliyabagh, he will reach Kashi Vidyapeeth premises where his 'Parivartan Sankalp' (pledge for change) rally is scheduled at 6.30 PM," he said.
Modi had hit the campaign trail here yesterday with an impromptu roadshow while he was on his way to two of the ancient city's most revered temples in the morning. He also held a public meeting late in the evening and later left the city.
The opposition had criticised yesterday's roadshow and the Congress even lodged a complaint with the Election Commission, alleging that the show of strength was made without the requisite permission.
He will return to his parliamentary constituency this afternoon for a two-day visit, with less than 48 hours to go before the campaign for Uttar Pradesh Assembly poll's final phase comes to an end.
Union Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters, "We were enthralled by the massive crowds that came out yesterday to greet the PM as he travelled several kilometres in an open jeep."
He said the turnout was even greater than what was witnessed when Modi had come to the city to file his nomination papers during the 2014 general elections.
"We know that when the PM is among his people, they expect him to provide inspiration through his unparalleled oratory. So today his vehicle is likely to be fitted with a mike so that the people of Kashi get to hear their leader speak," Goyal, a senior BJP leader, said.
After the rally, Modi will leave for the Diesel Locomotive Works guest house where he will stay the night.
Before retiring for the day, the Prime Minister will interact with nearly 2,000 prominent citizens drawn from various walks of life at the DLW premises.
Tomorrow morning, Modi is expected to visit Ramnagar town across the Ganga and garland a statue of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who had spent his early childhood there.
Modi is likely to sign off his campaign trail with a huge rally at Rohaniya, a predominantly rural Assembly segment on the outskirts of the city, before boarding his return flight.
Varanasi will vote in the seventh and last phase of UP polls on March 8. The counting of votes will take place on March 11.
(With PTI inputs)