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Varanasi: PM Modi offers prayers at Dasaswamedh Ghat

After performing Ganga Aarti and offering prayers to the River Ganga on the occasion of Ganga Saptami, the PM took a cruise trip to the Namo Ghat.

Varanasi: PM Modi offers prayers at Dasaswamedh Ghat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi boards a cruise ship at Dasaswamedh Ghat (ANI)

VARANASI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered prayers at Dashashwamedh Ghat on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi and boarded a cruise to Namo Ghat to visit the Kal Bhairav Temple ahead of filling his nomination from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday.

After performing Ganga Aarti and offering prayers to the River Ganga on the auspicious occasion of Ganga Saptami, the Prime Minister took a cruise trip to the Namo Ghat.

On board the cruise, in an exclusive interview with India Today, PM Modi said that "Maa Ganga" has adopted him and that he has had a 10-year bond with Varanasi.

"10 years ago, when I came to Kashi, I said, Maa Ganga has called me.. But in the last 10 years, Maa Ganga has adopted me. I do everything considering it as worship of God. In the last 10 years, the people of Kashi have made me a Banarasian. Seeing the love of people, I feel that my responsibilities are increasing every day. I am grateful for the people. I feel in my mind that God has chosen me and I do everything as an offering to God. I have dedicated my life to the 140 crore people," the Prime Minister said.

He further said that the BJP-led NDA would cross 400 seats in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls.

PM Modi, the sitting MP and BJP's candidate, who secured wins with large margins from the Varanasi constituency for the past two consecutive terms, is eyeing a third term with a record margin.

Priest Santosh Narayan, who was present with PM Modi during the rituals performed by the Prime Minister at Dasaswamedh Ghat, said, "We have given him the blessings of massive victory in all the phases of the ongoing elections."

Another priest, Raaman, who was present, said, "Ganga puja was performed today. This puja was done for the welfare of the country and that his next term is successful and the country gets recognition globally."

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath arrived at Kaal Bhairav Temple in the holy city and inspected arrangements ahead of the Prime Minister's visit.

Varanasi goes in for polling on June 1 in the seventh and last phase of the general elections.

Security has been strengthened outside the office of the District Magistrate in Varanasi ahead of PM Modi's nomination.

On Monday evening, PM Modi held an extravagant roadshow in Varanasi on a five-kilometre stretch.

Varanasi is the stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party and PM Modi. He won the seat twice--in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.The Congress has pitted Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Ajay Rai against PM Modi in Varanasi. This is the third time Ajay Rai will face PM Modi in the Lok Sabha contest.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, PM Modi won the seat with over 6,74,664 votes and commanded a vote share of 63.6 percent. In 2014, PM Modi contested two Lok Sabha seats--from Gujarat's Vadodara and Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi.

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