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Vajpayee was large-hearted, not like Modi, says Cong's Varanasi candidate

Press Trust of India  |  Varanasi 

Former Bihari Vajpayee was a large-hearted man who took everyone along, quite unlike Narendra Modi, says Congress' candidate and old BJP hand

Rai, who takes on MP and in this temple town, said the election this time is easier than in 2014.

The election is relatively easier this time than last time as people have seen through Modiji's tall and fake promises and he has not delivered anything, Rai told ahead of the election on Sunday.

The now is full of appreciation for Vajpayee.

I was with the BJP. I was a also. It was the BJP of Bihari Vajpayee. It was not the BJP of Modi and that runs on corporate culture and doesn't respect its leaders," Rai said.

This new BJP didn't respect old timers L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, he said.

Fondly remembering Vajpayee, Rai said he was a totally different and described him as large hearted man who used to take everybody along.

Rai began his political career as a member of the ABVP, the BJP's student wing. He was elected to the assembly as the BJP candidate from Kolasala three times in a row between 1996 and 2007.

After being denied a ticket by the BJP in 2009, he switched to the and later joined the

In 2014, he contested the from this constituency but managed to get only 75,000 votes and finished third, behind Arvind Kejriwal, forfeiting his deposit.

The BJP wants to double Modi's victory margin -- in 2014 he won by 3.37 lakh votes against Kejriwal.

This time, Rai is Modi's main rival and is hoping for a consolidation of Muslim votes behind him.

Rai, who hails from the Bhumihar community and has a considerable following among Brahmins, is also eyeing votes from the two communities which have sizeable presence in the constituency.

Both Brahmins and Bhumihars have traditionally been supporters of the BJP.

His manifesto focuses on reestablishment of temples broken during Varanasi corridor, and promises setting up an All India and starting a metro service in the town.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 17 2019. 19:11 IST