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Making issue out of Ganga Aarti and rally location not correct: Feels political analysts in Varanasi
BJP workers organised a massive demonstration today in Varanasi against the district administration for not allowing their Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi to hold one out his two election rallies in the city. Modi had also sought permission to participate in the evening's Ganga Aarti, for which permission came late.

To protest the denial to hold the rally at Benia Bagh ground and delay in granting the permission, BJP orgainsed the massive protest in front of the BHU's main gate along with some of their top leaders namely, Amit Shah and Arun Jaitely.

Varanasi, one of the oldest cities, with a cultural heritage on the banks of the Ganges, has long been neglected, but suddenly it has become the center of politics with big names like Modi and Kejriwal announcing their Lok Sabha candidature from here.

BJP was demanding replacement of district election officer and the DM Pranjal Yadav. However, when you will speak to the residents of the city, they will only appreciate Yadav for his various efforts that have brought city on the track to some extent. People often remember his commitment towards the development of the city by giving an example that he got a 4-km road prepared overnight.

The city has started seeing dreams of development. But are the parties interested in talking about the development of the city? Or with the date of voting approaching fast, talks of the development have been neglected.

Dr Arun Kumar Srivastava, Assistant Professor at Varanasi's DAV PG College, while criticizing BJP for making Ganga Aarti an issue. Dr. Srivastava accused BJP of polarising voters.

“Modi is playing all these tricks, just to polarize the Hindu votes in Varanasi. If he has the intention to attend the Ganga Aarti he could have done it earlier, but he has chosen such a time for 'Ganga Aarti' when the elections are at tip. This clearly proves that they are playing with the sentiments of Hindu's and are polarizing the Hindu votes,” said Dr. Srivastava.

Dr. Srivastava also held the district administration's decision of not allowing Modi's Benia Bagh rally as right one.

“Benia Bagh location in Varanasi, is a very sensitive location as it is surrounded by Muslims. 20 years back, when Shirish Chand Dixit, the BJP candidate from Varanasi went to Benia Bagh, it was almost a chaotic situation. So, this time the state government and the EC didn't want to allow even the possibility of any such chaos to happen and hence have denied the permission for the election rally,” said Dr. Srivastav.

He also feels that Varanasi is a cultural city, where the Hindu-Muslim are showing a good example of brotherhood. “The new politics in Varanasi is ruining all this and is creating a situation which will help the parties in polarizing their votes. The inclusiveness and purity of the religion and culture in Varanasi should be saved,” added Dr. Srivastava.

Dr. FB Singh, a BHU professor, feels that Varanasi has been made a battle ground by the political parties. “Every limit has been crossed by these political parties. All the parties are slamming each other. We have never seen such kind of elections in the past.”

Raghavendra Pratap Singh, a political science professor from BHU says, “Big names like Modi and Kejriwal are contesting from Varanasi, it seems that the city is not only going to give itself a representative in the parliament but will also give a Prime Minister to the country. The way the political parties are projecting Varanasi, they are not only targeting the vote bank of the city but also the entire Purvanchal vote bank.”

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