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In Pictures: Battleground Varanasi
Ancient city will see BJP's Narendra Modi and AAP's Arvind Kejriwal face off on May 12 at end of India's polling.
Last updated: 16 Apr 2014 11:06
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Varanasi, the religious and spiritual hub of India, is emerging as the election battleground for outsiders; Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal.

 

Kejriwal is expected to start his campaigning from the city on Wednesday. Since his last visit in March, AAP has launched a door-to-door campaign. Meanwhile, unofficial reports state that Modi will file his nomination on April 18. 

Elections in Varanasi are scheduled for May 12, the last of India's nine-phase polling.

The ancient city is located on the banks of Ganges in eastern Uttar Pradesh state that sends the largest number of seats to parliament.

The ruling Congress party has announced Ajay Rai, a sitting member of the state assembly, as its candidate.

In the last election in 2009, BJP's Murli Manohar Joshi won the seat by defeating Bahujan Samaj Party's Mukhtar Ansari.

Since 1991, BJP has consistently won this seat barring 2004 when Congress candidate emerged victorious.


/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

Kubernath Mishra recites a 3,500-word poem he wrote in support of Narendra Modi called "NaMo Race Ahead". He has distributed over a thousand copies of the 30-page poem so far.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

A man jumps into the Ganges in Varanasi, also known as Kashi. The ancient city is considered the religious capital of India.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

Members of AAP argue with a BJP supporter while campaigning in the city.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

Transgender candidate Bashir Kinnar aka Kamala Kinnar says she will be challenging both Modi and Kejriwal as an independent. "Why should we expect an outsider to solve our problems," she says. "We need a local voice and that is why I will challenge them." She had contested the state elections twice before unsuccessfully.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

BJP youth workes decorate Modiís election office, which was inaugurated on April 1.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

Mohammad Kadim, 27, a weaver, says the community is yet to decide who they will support.†



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

Supporters of Samajwadi Party, which currently rules the state government of Uttar Pradeh, are seen here campaigning.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

A lane in Pakka Mahal. The spiritual hub of India has traditionally been a BJP bastion.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

A Muslim craftsman wears the cap of AAP. With no Muslim candidate planning to contest, many have declared their support for Kejriwal.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

Locals say the polls will be a contest between outsiders Modi and Kejriwal.†



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

Large hoardings featuring Samajawadi Party candidate Kailash Chaurasia can be seen around the city. He often refers to his humble family background of selling betel nuts in his speeches.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

All eyes are now on Varanasi as it witnesses the biggest battle of this elections. Modi, who is also running from his home state of Gujarat, is expected to file his nomination papers this week.




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images:
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captions:

Kubernath Mishra recites a 3,500-word poem he wrote in support of Narendra Modi called "NaMo Race Ahead". He has distributed over a thousand copies of the 30-page poem so far.

;*;

A man jumps into the Ganges in Varanasi, also known as Kashi. The ancient city is considered the religious capital of India.

;*;

Members of AAP argue with a BJP supporter while campaigning in the city.

;*;

Transgender candidate Bashir Kinnar aka Kamala Kinnar says she will be challenging both Modi and Kejriwal as an independent. "Why should we expect an outsider to solve our problems," she says. "We need a local voice and that is why I will challenge them." She had contested the state elections twice before unsuccessfully.

;*;

BJP youth workes decorate Modiís election office, which was inaugurated on April 1.

;*;

Mohammad Kadim, 27, a weaver, says the community is yet to decide who they will support.†

;*;

Supporters of Samajwadi Party, which currently rules the state government of Uttar Pradeh, are seen here campaigning.

;*;

A lane in Pakka Mahal. The spiritual hub of India has traditionally been a BJP bastion.

;*;

A Muslim craftsman wears the cap of AAP. With no Muslim candidate planning to contest, many have declared their support for Kejriwal.

;*;

Locals say the polls will be a contest between outsiders Modi and Kejriwal.†

;*;

Large hoardings featuring Samajawadi Party candidate Kailash Chaurasia can be seen around the city. He often refers to his humble family background of selling betel nuts in his speeches.

;*;

All eyes are now on Varanasi as it witnesses the biggest battle of this elections. Modi, who is also running from his home state of Gujarat, is expected to file his nomination papers this week.

Daylife ID:
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Photographer:
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Image Source:
Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
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