LOK SABHA POLLS: VARANASI ELEMENTS EXPECTED TO BE IN FOCUS

GENERAL ELECTIONS 2014

The day Narendra Modi declared to contest from Varanasi, the constituency became the most prestigious Lok Sabha seat in the country and so came to be the most important constituency for the political analysts and the media.

Now, regularly till May 16, when the results of the General Elections 2014 are announced, and intermittently after that, every possible aspect of Varanasi that can hit the viewers’ sentiments to score weightage and rating points, would be skimmed again and again, from every possible angle, to keep the storyboards and frames populated.

So, what are the elements going to attract (and attracting) the maximum attention?

— Varanasi as religious and spiritual capital of India and Hinduism

— Importance of the Varanasi parliamentary constituency for Eastern UP and adjoining areas of Bihar

— Being the religious capital of Hinduism and Narendra Modi being the most polarising figure for the Hindu votes, if Varanasi can help to mobilize the Hindu votes spread across a larger geographical area in favour of the BJP

— If Varanasi can help the BJP enhance its LS polls tally decisively

— Hindu-Muslim equation of Varanasi

— Hindu castes, their affiliations, inclinations and segregations

— Riots and aftermath – riots from 1989 to 1992 – before and after the Babri Mosque demolition

— Muslim localities, Muslim voters, their reactions on Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and other candidates

— How Varanasi has been a BJP seat in Lok Sabha polls since 1991 with an aberration in 2004 when Rajesh Mishra, former BHU student union president, won on a Congress ticket

— If Varanasi is not a safe seat for the BJP as Murli Manohar Joshi won by just over 17,000 votes in 2009

— The M-M factor – if Mukhtar Ansari fights and the Muslim vote polarisation – like Narendra Modi, Mukhtar, the don-turned-politician is also a criminal figure with cases lodged against him for acting to inflame religious sentiments during moments of crisis

— If Arvind Kejriwal can sequeeze out the Muslim votes (that seems a distant possibility if Mukhar decides to contest)

— Varanasi being the city nurtured by Kashi Vishwanath and the Ganga

— The Gyanvapi history and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple – and the BJP-RSS agenda in the past

— Banaras Hindu University

— Civic infrastructure of Varanasi

— Cultural heritage of Varanasi – Ganga Ghats, temples of the city, Sarnath, historical legacy of its places, its narrow lanes, Banarasi Saree, Paan, Banarasi sweets

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

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