- BJP's alliance with Apna Dal favours its winning chances in Mirzapur
- BJP's candidate in Mirzapur is a temple's chief priest Ratnakar Mishra
- In his rally here, PM Modi launched an attack on BSP's Mayawati
In his only rally in Mirzapur this assembly election, sharing stage with the Prime Minister was Ratnakar Mishra -- one of the chief priests of Mirzapur's famous Vindhawasini temple. Mr Mishra is part of the BJP's strategy to counter the Samajwadi Party's dominance in Mirzapur. He has been given a party ticket.
At the March 3 rally, PM Modi chose the constituency of three-time BSP legislator Ramesh Bind, launching a scathing attack on Mayawati and pitching for the development in one of India's most backward districts.
At the campaign office of Mr Bind in Kachwan block, the BSP workers are unimpressed by the BJP's push for Mirzapur. Dressed in a white shirt and a blue BSP cap, 50-year-old Bansi says party workers don't interact with the media much, but he would make an exception for this time.
"Modi's crowd was all from outside. Mayawati also had a rally on the same day. I took some people there. My crowd was the one that was winning the election for Mayawati," he says.
"I think a lot of us have decided to give BJP our vote. Modi asked why people go to Gujarat, and said it is because there is no work here. He is right," he said.
Mr Chaurasia took on PM Modi in Varanasi in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and lost. "Modi-ji was here during the Parliament elections too. He promised to restart a major factory here. It hasn't happened," he said. "The people may not be too educated but they can sense what has happened. I wonder why he is camping in Varanasi for so long."
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