India’s general election reaches a climax on Monday as opposition challenger Narendra Modi seeks an individual mandate in Varanasi, the holy city around the river Ganges, to control by his modernized make of Hindu nationalism.
Modi may be the first prime ministerial candidate to face within the 3,000-year-old city where several religions mingle. Varanasi is an ancient center of Buddhism, but one in six voters are Muslim Hindus think that to die here brings salvation by getting away periodic reincarnation.
A triumph within the city body of 41 seats in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal that are voting around the last day’s India’s five-week general election – would crown an unrelenting campaign through the 63-year-old chief minister of Gujarat to guide his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to energy following a decade in opposition.
Campaigning mainly on offers to create jobs and restore India to some road to high economic growth, Modi – whose experts accuse him of harboring Hindu supremacist sights – has mostly steered obviously of faith.
His oratory abilities and-tech campaign makes him a good favorite in opinion polls to unseat the Nehru-Gandhi Empire from New Delhi – and only take Varanasi.
Modi “will win the election out of this Varanasi constituency having a large majority,” BJP Leader Rajnath Singh told reporters as campaigning ended in a weekend. Other candidates would “lose their deposits.”
Congress, that has lost recognition following a string of corruption scams along with a sharp economic downturn, offers to extend welfare guidelines that assisted it a sweep right into a second term five years ago. “I am confident of giving a difficult battle to Narendra Modi,” its candidate Ajay Rai told Reuters.