Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, on Thursday, when asked about why Priyanka Gandhi had not contested from Varanasi for the Congress party, said that Congress had hurriedly announced its candidate for Varanasi after seeing the crowds thronging for PM Modi's roadshow since 10 AM, after the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedha Ghat.
"I am surprised as to why there was an urgency to announce a name today in the morning, as the roadshow was only at 5 PM. Probably seeing that by 10 AM, entire Banaras had crowded the roads, and seeing their enthusiasm, Congress could have felt that if they announced that Priyanka will not contest, post the roadshow, it would be read differently by the people. Maybe this is why they announced the news hurriedly."
On being asked about what he felt about the massive turnout for the Prime Minister's roadshow, he said that the gratitude towards PM Modi's hard work was evident in its enthusiasm.
"It is evident what kind of enthusiasm is there in the people regarding PM Modi, across the country. This gratitude felt by 30 crore Indians is due to the work done by PM Modi for community service, welfare for the poor and every community was seen today."
Confident of BJP's win, he added that India has decided to vote for a decisive government and that the BJP would be re-elected with an absolute majority.
"I can say confidently that India will elect BJP with complete majority and NDA will form a central government again. India has decided to vote for a strong, decisive government which works for national and social welfare."
PM Modi who arrived at Varanasi started his mega roadshow at 5:15 PM with the garlanding of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) founder Madan Mohan Malaviya's statue. The rally was originally to start at 3 pm but was delayed by over two hours. Travelling with a massive entourage, the Prime Minister passed through a sea of supporters thronging to see him and progressed on his 7 km long roadshow from the Malaviya statue to the Dashashwamedha Ghat.
PM Modi had tweeted his gratitude for the warm reception at Varanasi.
At the culmination of the roadshow, as per schedule, PM Modi was joined on the dais by BJP president Amit Shah, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and to view the splendid Ganga Aarti and the party's UP president Mahendra Nath Pandey. PM Modi tweeted his happiness at witnessing the Ganga Aarti at Dashashwamedha Ghat in Varanasi.
After the Ganga Aarti, the Prime Minister addressed the crowd at Varanasi.
According to BJP Chief Amit Shah, the Prime Minister's schedule on Friday will consist of a series of programs before his nomination.
"Next day, on April 26, in the morning at 9:30 AM, at the same Hotel de Paris, PM Modi will address all the party workers in the Kashi constituency. After concluding this, PM Modi will go for the darshan of the Lord Kala Bhairav and then he will go for his nomination.", Shah had shared in a press conference on Tuesday.
Republic World brings you comprehensive election news coverage and phase-by-phase election updates of the Indian General Elections 2019. The 2019 Lok Sabha Elections will be held from April 11 to May 19 in seven phases, with the counting of votes scheduled for May 23. Get all the latest election news, highlights, controversies, polls, live updates and results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019, only on Republic World.