Last Updated: Monday, April 21, 2014, 10:16
Zee Media Bureau/Hemant Abhishek
Varanasi: Late shehnai maestro Bismillah Khan's family has refused to be partisan to politics even as Varanasi turns hotbed of electoral ambition in the Lok Sabha polls.
Reports suggest that Khan's family members was approached by the Bharatiya Janata Party to support party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in his bid to wrest the east Uttar Pradesh seat, but they turned down the request.
Bismillah Khan's son Zamin Husain Bismillah was quoted saying that their's was a family of artists who had never indulged in political acts and refused to take sides in the hotly contested constituency.
Some BJP workers had floated the idea that Bismillah Khan's kin be a proposer for Modi when he files the nomination from Varanasi on April 24, reports said.
Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benares, boasts of about 100 ghats along Ganga River and thousands of galis or alleys throughout the city. A temple or some religious place can be seen at every corner of the city. Bismillah Khan's name has remained etched in the history of the culturally vibrant city with his music know to have promoted the 'ganga-jamuni tehzeeb' and peaceful co-existence among varied religious communities—a tradition many political parties are looking to cash-in on.
Other than BJP's Narendra Modi, key candidates from this Lok Sabha seat includes Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal, Congress' Ajay Rai and Samajwadi Party's Kailash Chaurasiya.
First Published: Monday, April 21, 2014, 09:25