The BJP leaders said that the candidature, although widely anticipated, would infuse enthusiasm in party activists, both in the politically critical state of Uttar Pradesh and all over the country.

Read more: LS polls: Modi to contest from Varanasi, Rajnath from Lucknow

"The morale is very, very good now," spokesman Prakash Javedkar said.

"We are confident that our 272 model will be met," he added, referring to the half-way mark in the Lok Sabha.

Another BJP leader, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, spoke on similar lines.

"Modiji is an icon and the face of development across communities and regions," Naqvi said.

"When he fights from an important state like Uttar Pradesh, it sends out a new wave of energy and enthusiasm throughout the country. It is a celebration Holi before Holi for (party) workers in UP. They are jubilant and happy."

Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Lakshmikant Bajpayee said, “It is very fortunate for us that Modi is fighting from state even though he is from Gujarat.”

"He will get elected from UP and become the Prime Minister. This decision has infused the (party) workers with renewed energy." Lakshmikant Bajpayee said.

He said that he is confident that the BJP would now bag at least 50 of the 80 seats in the sprawling state.

The BJP won only 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh in 2009 and it wants the tally to rise dramatically if it is to make a pitch for government formation in New Delhi.

BJP strategists say that Modi's candidature in the Hindu holy town of Varanasi will galvanize both voters and party supporters alike.

Honoured to contest from holy city of Varanasi: Modi

Soon after BJP declared his candidature from Varanasi, saffron outfit’s prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi referred to the historical and religious significance of Varanasi and said that he felt ‘honoured’ to be contesting from the holy city.
"Grateful to the party for giving me opportunity to contest the election from the holy city of Varanasi! An honour to contest from Varanasi," Modi wrote on Twitter soon after the announcement.
Seeking the blessings of the holy Ganges and Kashi Vishwanath, one of the holiest Hindu shrines, located in Varanasi, Modi called upon the people to work together for achieving the 272+ seat target set by BJP for the upcoming polls.
"With blessings of Ganga Mata & Kashi Vishwanath, let us work towards success of Mission 272+ & create a strong, vibrant & prosperous India," he said in another tweet.
Modi will replace sitting MP and senior party leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who had been resisting the move to shift him to another constituency. Joshi will now contest from Kanpur.
Modi's nomination from Varanasi is a tactical move by the party to impact majority seats in the state, especially those in the Purvanchal region and in neighbouring Bihar as well.
Sources said that in 1998, when BJP came to power after managing its highest-ever Lok Sabha tally in Uttar Pradesh, the majority of the seats in the state had come from Purvanchal, which contains the Varanasi segment.
Speculation about Modi contesting from Varanasi had been rife over the past few weeks, which had seen an unhappy Joshi even raising the issue recently at a meeting of the party's Central Election Committee.
However, the BJP leadership was keen to see Modi contest from Varanasi on the hope that it would boost the party's electoral prospects in all of Uttar Pradesh, where 80 Lok Sabha seats are at stake.
Once a bastion of BJP, the party's tally in the state has been dwindling and hit a low of 10 in the 2009 polls. It is, however, hoping for a big swing in its fortunes this time around.


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