The BJP has made hectic preparations for the day when Modi will undertake a “grand road show” before filing his papers for the mega battle in this holy city where he is challenged by Congress leader Ajay Rai, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and others.
Several hundred kg of rose petals and other flowers have been ordered, party leaders said.
The Gujarat Chief Minister will be flying in to the temple town in the morning and would attend a string of events, including garlanding of statues of Banaras Hindu University founder Madan Mohan Malviya, BR Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Swami Vivekanand.
He would then hold a roadshow ahead of filing his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha election at the district collectorate.
According to an estimate by Modi’s campaign managers, lakhs of people are expected to participate in the two-km-long road show from Nadesar to Kacheri locality in the heart of the city during which a number of leading local organisations will greet him. Elaborate plans hasve been made for security of the BJP leader.
Though invited all sections of people to the road show, the party has specifically requested the citizens from Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, residing here, to come in their traditional attire.
“They have been requested to come in their traditional attire so that a mini-India can be presented in the road show,” said Navratan Rathi, a BJP leader who is coordinating arrangements.
Modi will spend over four hours in the city, a BJP leader said.
Several hundred kg of rose petals and other flowers have been ordered for use during the roadshow.
Modi will arrive at Lal Bahadur Shastri airport this morning from where he will go to Benaras Hindu University campus by helicopter to pay tribute to Pandit Madan Mohan Malvya at his statue in the Lanka crossing.
Then he will go to Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, one of the premier educational institutions here, where he will garland the statute of Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel and start his road show.
The Gujarat Chief Minister has been highlighting contribution of Patel to attack Congress and had laid the foundation stone for a huge statue of Patel last year in Kevadia area of Gujarat.
Modi will also pay tribute to Vivekanada and Amebdkar at their statues in the Cantonment area and Collectorate Square respectively.
Another function has been organised where the Gujarat Chief Minister will be offered blessings by over 100 priests.
BJP units in all the 90 wards in the city have been told to carry out procession from their respective wards to reach the venue of the road show.
A list of 10 proposers of Modi has been sent to his office, the party leader said, adding Modi would be clearing the name of four people.
Those who may get to propose the name of Modi as BJP candidate from Varanasi include Vishwanath Singh, owner of Pappu Tea Corner at Assi Ghat, and Chhannu Lal Misra, a classical singer from the Banaras gharana.
The BJP tried to rope in the son and nephews of the late Shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan but they politely declined, citing their family tradition of staying away from politics.