In a major show of strength, NDA leaders from all around the country joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rifle Club in Varanasi as he filed his nomination papers. LJP's Ram Vilas Paswan, Chief Minister of Bihar and JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar, Shiromani Akali Dal's Prakash Singh Badal, Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray, new ally-AIADMK's leaders, Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio, Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel along with all senior BJP leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari accompanied BJP chief Amit Shah to the Rifle club ahead of the nomination process.
In 2014 general elections, BJP had won 282 seats in the lower house of Parliament. The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had won 336 seats out of 543 sets in the Lok Sabha.
BJP's victory in 2014 termed as the biggest victory since the 1984 election that Rajiv Gandhi won with 414 Lok Sabha seats. It was also the first time ever in the 67-year history of independent India that a non-Congress party won a simple majority on its own.
Although Chandrababu Naidu led Telegu Desam Party broke ranks with the BJP, the NDA is at a comfortable majority.
Here's a look at the number of seats the present NDA allies who were present in Varanasi won in 2014:
Together, the NDA allies at the Prime Minister's nomination-filing represent 70 seats in the 16th Lok Sabha.
On Thursday, the Congress party ended all speculations around the name of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra contesting against the PM by fielding Ajay Rai from Varanasi. In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, PM Narendra Modi had won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, defeating Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal by a massive margin of 3.37 lakh votes, while Ajay Rai was third in the contest.
With Uttar Pradesh going to polls in all seven phases, Varanasi will vote in the last phase of the Lok Sabha election on May 19. Counting of votes will take place on May 23.