Kejriwal to start Varanasi campaign Tuesday

New Delhi, April 14: AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal will begin campaigning against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in Varanasi from Tuesday, his colleagues said Monday.

With senior colleagues including Sanjay Singh and Manish Sisodia already in the temple town, Kejriwal will reach Varanasi Tuesday after an overnight train journey from New Delhi.

“Though campaigning is already on in Varanasi, Arvind’s presence will boost the morale of party members,” a member of the AAP told IANS on phone from the Hindu holy city.

Varanasi goes to the polls May 12, the final day of the 10-phase parliamentary election. April 24 is the last date for filing nomination in Varanasi. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is April 28.

The former Delhi chief minister is also expected to spend time in villages in Varanasi constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

“He knows how to strike a chord with people. That’s his biggest strength,” a party member said.

Supporters from surrounding areas have been called in for what is expected to be a fierce contest in Varanasi, Sisodia told IANS.

From Delhi, party activists have started reaching Varanasi.

Since Quami Ekta Dal leader Mukhtar Ansari has withdrawn from the electoral race, a popular view is that that there may be mass voting by Varanasi’s Muslims in favour of Kejriwal.

The AAP has a different view. “Muslims have always been with us. We don’t need to polarize Varanasi by appeasing Muslims,” Sisodia said.

Varanasi is home to 1.6 million voters. The seat was won in 2009 by Murli Manohar Joshi of the BJP, defeating Mukhtar Ansari.

IANS