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PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

Last updated on: May 10, 2014 11:47 IST

PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

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Days after Narendra Modi took on Rahul Gandhi in Amethi, the Congress vice president retaliated on Saturday by campaigning on the last day in Varanasi, where the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate is in the fray.

Donning a Gandhi cap, the 43-year-old leader flanked by Congress candidate Ajay Rai began his roadshow in a Muslim-dominated Gol Gadda area, waving to supporters who surrounded his vehicle.

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Image: Rahul Gandhi and Congress candidate Ajai Rai wave to supporters during a roadshow in Varanasi on Saturday
Photographs: Sandeep Pal/Rediff.com

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PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

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Rahul's roadshow follows a massive one conducted by Aam Aadmi Party challenger Arvind Kejriwal on Friday and another one by Modi the day before.

The roadshow is to conclude after about 10 kms at Lanka near the Benares Hindu University gate, the same place where Kejriwal and Modi had begun their roadshows.

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Image: Rahul greets supporters during a roadshow in Varanasi on Saturday
Photographs: Sandeep Pal/Rediff.com

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PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

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In his last push before campaigning ends on Saturday evening, Kejriwal was conducting another roadshow on Saturday, while Samajwadi Party leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also had one scheduled.

Leaders present in Rahul's roadshow included Ghulam Nabi Azad, Madhusudan Mistry, CP Joshi and Raj Babbar.

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Image: Congress roadshow crosses a mosque in Varanasi on Saturday
Photographs: Sandeep Pal/Rediff.com

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PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

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Congress supporters had begun assembling since early in the morning.

"We are fighting to win. We are confident of our victory," said Azad who has been camping in Varanasi.

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Image: Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Rashid Kidwai seen at the roadshow on Saturday
Photographs: Sandeep Pal/Rediff.com

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PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

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Breaking an unwritten code, Modi had addressed a rally in Amethi, where Rahul has been challenged by BJP's Smriti Irani, on the last day of campaigning there on May 5 and had made a stinging attack on the Gandhi family.

The show of strength by Rahul came as campaign frenzy gripped Varanasi, which will go to polls on May 12 in the last lap of the nine-phase Lok Sabha elections.

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Image: A Congress supporter wears a Rahul Gandhi masks during the roadshow on Saturday
Photographs: Sandeep Pal/Rediff.com

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PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

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A large posse of policemen surrounded Rahul's convoy as it moved with the flag-waving crowd in the streets of Varanasi.

With the sun blazing down, Congress supporters, many of them wearing tricolour caps, shouted slogans.

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Image: Rahul Gandhi's roadshow in Varanasi on Saturday
Photographs: Sandeep Pal/Rediff.com

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PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

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Rahul's roadshow was allowed in Beniya Bagh, where Modi was refused permission by the Election Commission to hold rally due to security reasons, prompting an angry reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party.

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Image: Congress candidates Nagma and Raj Babbar also spotted at the roadshow
Photographs: Sandeep Pal/Rediff.com

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PHOTOS: Rahul's 'answer to Modi' roadshow in Varanasi

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"It is blot on the electoral process where a PM candidate has not been allowed to hold rally in his constituency. Why were security reasons cited for Modi and not for the other leaders who are campaigning there?

"It is now clear that the permission was denied due to political reasons and not for security reasons," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said.

 


Image: Rahul Gandhi and Congress candidate Ajai Rai wave to supporters during a roadshow in Varanasi on Saturday
Photographs: Sandeep Pal/Rediff.com

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