Varanasi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday resumed the second leg of his road show in this Uttar Pradesh city with large crowds of supporters and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers thronging the streets.
The Prime Minister first flew from the airport to the Police Lines in a special Indian Air Force chopper. A number of local leaders greeted Modi at the helipad and presented him bouquets.
He then made his way in a bulletproof car in a convoy to the Pandeypur area, from where the road show commenced.
The 5km road show began at Pandeypur Square and wound its way through Chaukaghat, Teliabagh, Maldahiya and Patel Chowk to culminate at the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith.
Thousands of supporters thronged the route along which Modi went. Carrying BJP flags and shouting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi’, they waved at Modi, who acknowledged their greetings and waved back at them.
Modi was later scheduled to go to Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW), in the evening where he was to engage in a discussion with 5,000 scholars. He will spend the night in Varanasi and on Monday, go to Gadwa Ghat Ashram and Ramnagar to visit the house of late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Modi will fly off in a special IAF chopper to Rohaniya where he will address a public rally before returning to New Delhi late Monday evening.
Polling in Varanasi, which is also Modi’s parliamentary constituency, and some surrounding districts will be held in the seventh and last phase of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections on March 8.
Every third candidate in the ongoing UP assembly elections is facing criminal charges, including some for serious crimes such as rape, murder and kidnapping, while millionaires account for a similar percentage of those in the fray, an analysis of their self-declared affidavits showed on Sunday.
The seven-phase elections will end on March 8 while the campaign for the final phase has already entered its last lap.
According to an analysis of self-sworn affidavits, of total 4,823 candidates in the election (out of 4853 overall in the fray) by the Uttar Pradesh Election Watch and Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), 859 have disclosed criminal cases against them (18 per cent) and further 704 have serious criminal cases (15 per cent).
ADR said 31 candidates were not analysed due to unclear affidavits available on the ECI website.
It found as many as 1,457 millionaire candidates across the seven phases (30 per cent), while the overall average asset of those in the fray stood at Rs19 million.
The share of those with criminal cases stood at 19 per cent in the UP assembly polls in 2012, while the number of candidates with serious criminal cases, including cases related to rape, murder, kidnapping, communal disharmony and crime against women, has gone up from 8 per cent in the last elections.
ADR said 62 candidates have declared cases related to murder, while 148 candidates have declared cases of attempt to murder in the ongoing elections.
A total of 38 candidates have declared cases related to crimes against women, including ten related to rape.
The number of candidates with cases related to kidnapping is 34, while 22 have declared cases related to communal disharmony and 63 about electoral violations.
On party-wise analysis, ADR said 150 out of 400 candidates from the BSP (Bahujan Samaj Party) (40 per cent) have declared criminal cases, while the same for the BJP is 36 per cent and for the Samajwadi Party (SP) it is 37 per cent and 32 per cent in case for the Congress.
In terms of serious criminal cases, the BSP has 31 per cent such candidates, followed by 29 per cent for the SP, 26 per cent for the BJP and 22 per cent for the Congress.
As many as 152 constituencies (38 per cent) in the UP assembly polls have three or more candidates with declared criminal cases.