Battleground UP: Want to bring back Kashi's glory, says PM Modi in Varanasi

Rounding off a day of hectic electioneering in Uttar Pradesh, Prime Minster Narendra Modi has arrived for a town hall rally in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency.

Earlier in the day, Modi Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi held separate road shows in the holy city. BSP supremo Mayawati also held a rally on the outskirts.

After Samajwadi Party and Congress supporters were pelted with stones during their joint roadshow in Varanasi, the city police asked Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi to speed up the event.

Prime Minister Modi, who also addressed a rally in Jaupur, attacked the Samajwadi Party saying, "BJP will celebrate Holi with the party's victory in UP. Farmers' loan waiver to be the first decision after we come to power."

The BJP is aiming for a revival in the state where it was in decline for more than a decade, before making a dramatic comeback in the 2014 general elections - when it won a stunning 71 Lok Sabha seats, its best-ever performance till date.

Here are the live updates:

  • Modi is making infrastructure the main focus of his Varanasi town hall speech. The prime minister has spoken about improving roads, bringing 24x7 electricity, healthcare and solid waste management projects.
  • Development does not take place in parts, you need a comprehensive approach, Modi adds.
  • Modi promises 24x7 electricity in Uttar Pradesh if BJP comes to power.
  • Kashi is not just a city, it is a symbol of humanity. Our effort is to build an 'Uttam Kashi': PM Modi in Varanasi
  • "Narendra Modi might be the prime minister, he might be a parliamentarian, but he is also a BJP worker," the prime minister says.
  • "My life's purpose will be fulfilled if I work for you," Modi tells the gathering.
  • Modi talks about the 2014 general elections when he wasn't allowed by the EC to hold a rally in the city. 'Yet the people of Varanasi voted for me," Modi says.
  • Amid chants of 'Modi, Modi,' the prime minister asks the crowd to let him address them as he has a flight to catch.
  • Modi arrives at Varanasi town hall event.
  • Gathbandan rath is now crossing the Townhall where PM Modi is to address a rally at 7:30 pm.
  • SSP Nitin Tiwari came into the rath to have a word with the CM. CM Akhilesh Yadav wants PM Modi to delay his rally so that the cavalcade can pass st its own pace. Hectic negotiations are on
  • Varanasi Police asks Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi to speed up the roadshow. The police fears that BJP and SP workers could end up face to face at Girijaghar. The PM is scheduled to address supporters at the Townhall.

Supporters of Samajwadi Party and Congress in Varanasi.

  • BJP is misusing Constitutional rights, says Samajwadi Party's Rajendra Choudhary on Modi's roadshow in Varanasi.
  • PM Modi's holding a roadshow from BHU to Kashi Vishwanath is a flagrant violation of the model code of conduct, says Samajwadi Party leader Rajendra Choudhary.
  • Akhilesh Yadav shielding Gayatri Prajapati, Samajwadi Party not interested in governance; we shall ensure safety of women, says Modi.
  • If lost buffaloes can be tracked down in UP, can the police not trace a rape accused, says Modi referring to absconding Samajwadi Party Minister Gayatri Prajapati.

Dimple Yadav joins CM Akhilesh Yadav and Rahul Gandhi's roadshow in Varanasi #uppolls2017

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 4, 2017

  • Dimple Yadav has reached Varanasi. She will be joining the road show mid-way.
  • Stone pelted at supporters of Samajwadi Party-Congress in their joint roadshow in Varanasi. Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh were not present at the time of the incident.
  • BJP will celebrate Holi with the party's victory in UP, farmers' loan waiver to be the first decision, says Modi.
  • Mothers and daughters are not safe under the Akhilesh Yadav government. Should not women feel as secure as men, asks Modi.
  • While the rest of the nation chants Gayatri Mantra when people embark on a new mission, the SP-Congress alliance sings Gayatri Prajapati hymn: Modi.
  • Those who question surgical strikes come to Jaunpur and ask the families of the martyrs.
  • There are some people who are so driven by political considerations that they want to question our armed forces, says Modi.
  • We are so proud of our forces. Surgical strike was done after elaborate planning and is being talked about the world over, says Modi.
  • PM Narendra Modi is addressing an election rally in Jaunpur
  • They haven't yet cleaned mother Ganga. Along with you people, this time mother Ganga will punish them too: Mayawati in Varanasi.
  • Congress VP Rahul Gandhi and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav hold joint roadshow in Varanasi.

Congress VP Rahul Gandhi and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav hold joint roadshow in Varanasi

— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) March 4, 2017

  • In roadshows of both BJP and SP-Congress today in Varanasi, most of the crowd are onlookers: Mayawati in Varanasi.
  • #Watch Prime Minister Narendra Modi performing 'aarti' at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi
  • PM Narendra Modi offered prayers at the Kaal Bhairav temple in Varanasi
  • Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi performed 'aarti' at Kashi Vishvanath Temple
  • Modi's roadshow to reach Kaal Bhairav temple in Varanasi shortly.
  • PM Narendra Modi offered prayers in the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.
  • PM Modi reaches Kashi Vishwanath temple.
  • #Visuals PM Modi's roadshow in Varanasi. BJP is contesting on 4, it's ally AD on 1, out of 5 assembly constituencies under Varanasi Loksabha
  • After lot of protest, administration has removed the poster.
  • According to BJP, the building on which the poster has been hung is Bibia Razia mosque and putting up posters on religious building is violation of model code of conduct and EC guidelines.
  • BJP workers are agitating and demanding posters of Akhilesh and Rahul to be brought down.
  • Doctors, medical students present large numbers to extend support to Akhilesh and Rahul Gandhi.
  • Doctors, medical students gather to support Rahul, Akhilesh.
  • Supporters cheer 'Modi Modi' as Prime Minister's roadshow proceeds.
  • PM will reach Kashi Vishwanath temple covering Ravidas gate Lanka, Assi, Madani, Sonarpura, Godowlia and Basphatak areas.
  • PM Modi's roadshow underway in Varanasi, he will offer prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple and Kaal Bhairab temple shortly.
  • PM Narendra Modi's roadshow underway in Varanasi, supporters raise slogans.
  • They way PM works for entire nation, every youth of UP sees that and wants that sort of commitment for them as well: Rajyavardhan Rathore
  • PM Narendra Modi arrives at Banaras Hindu University.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches Babatpur airport in Varanasi.
  • PM's constituency Varanasi goes to polls on March 8.

Also read:

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Uttar Pradesh election: Varanasi doesn't need to be Kyoto, city's top mahant slams PM Modi's idea

Bihar minister asks crowd to beat PM Modi's photo with slippers; BJP demands his explusion from cabinet

Watch video:

Akhilesh-Rahul hold roadshow in PM Modi's Lok Sabha constituency