Varanasi: Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, went to the polls in the seventh and final phase of Assembly Elections in Uttar Pradesh on March 08, 2017.
Varanasi Election Results 2017, to be declared on March 11, will determine if the magic of Modi has worked again in the temple town.
Varanasi has eight Assembly seats – Ajgara, Shivpur, Rohania, Varanasi North, Varanasi South, Varanasi Cantt, Sevapuri, Pindra - and there was a close contest on all of them. In all 127 candidates are in the fray in Varanasi.
In the outgoing state Assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party has three seats, Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party have two each and the Congress has one.
The PM campaigned in the temple town for three consecutive days to canvass support for the BJP candidates.
The constituencies in Varanasi are deeply divided on caste lines. It has around 3.25 lakh Vaishya voters, 2.50 lakh Brahmin voters, 1.25 lakh Bhumihars, one lakh Rajputs, two lakh from the Patel community, three lakh Muslims, 1.50 lakh Yadavs and 80,000 Dalits.
The BSP has fielded sitting MLA Tribhuvan Ram against SP's Lalji Sonkar and BJP ally Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party's Kailash Nath Sonkar.
The BJP has fielded Anil Rajbhar against Samajwadi Party's Anand Mohan (also known as Guddu Yadav).
The BJP has fielded Surendra Narain Singh against SP's sitting MLA Mahendra Patel.
The BJP has reposed faith in Ravindra Jaiswal from Varanasi (North), who won by a slender margin of 2,000 votes in 2012. He now faces two rebel candidates -- Sujit Singh Teeka and a well-known doctor, Ashok Singh -- other than the Opposition candidates.
The BJP faced a rebellion in Varanasi (South), where it denied a ticket to party veteran and seven-time legislator Shyamdev Narayan Chowdhary (Dada) and replaced him with Neelkanth Tiwari. The Congress has fielded Anil Srivastava and the BSP has given the ticket to Rijwan Ahmed.
The BJP has fielded Saurabh Srivastava, the son of the incumbent MLA Jyotsna Srivastava. Notably, the BJP has never lost this seat since 1991.
Minister of State Anupriya Patel's aide Neel Ratan Singh Patel is contesting as the Apna Dal (Soneylal) candidate. The Samajwadi Party has fielded sitting MLA Surendra Singh Patel while the Mahendra Kumar Pandey is contesting on BSP's ticket.
BJP's candidate Avdhesh Singh is pitted against Congress's Ajay Rai and BSP's Babulal.