Prime Minister Narendra Modi is holding a roadshow in Varanasi, his parliamentary constituency, ahead of filing his nomination on Friday.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Minister JP Nadda, UP and Delhi BJP chiefs, Mahendra Nath Pandey and Manoj Tiwari, are among the senior leaders who are accompanying the Prime Minister at the event.
PM Modi began the roadshow after paying his tributes at Pt Madan Mohan Malviya's statue outside Banaras Hindu University. The rally, stretching over 6km, will pass through Lanka and Madanpura areas of the city and end at the famed Dashashwamedh Ghat.
Before embarking on the roadshow, PM Modi said that his scheduled programmes in "beloved Kashi" would give him an opportunity to interact with his "sisters and brothers" of the town.
"After bumper rallies in Darbhanga and Banda, I am heading to beloved Kashi. There are a series of programmes lined up, which would give me another excellent opportunity to interact with my sisters and brothers of Kashi. Har Har Mahadev!" Modi tweeted.
People have been thronging the temple town long before the event started to welcome the Prime Minister.
A Modi supporter at the rally said, "We are very eager to welcome Modi ji. He will get a grand welcome here. India has never got such a Prime Minister before, nor will it get a PM like Modi in future. For a bright future of the country, it is important that he comes back to power once again."
BJP's pitch to make national security a top poll agenda appeared to have several takers at the rally, with many endorsing the party's views on the matter.
"Before 2014 we had a prime minister who only 'condemned' (the terrorist activities), now we have a Prime Minister who bombs Pakistan," said another supporter.
Some women standing alongside the road reiterated similar sentiments.Later in the evening, Prime Minister Modi will participate in the Ganga Aarti on the banks of the holy river. After that, he will interact with select intellectuals at Hotel De Paris.
PM is expected to file his nomination tomorrow. All senior leaders of the BJP, NDA and North East Democratic Alliance are expected to be present in the city to mark the occasion.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)