Prime Minister Narendra Modi today quit his Vadodara Lok Sabha seat, choosing to retain Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, where the BJP recorded a landslide victory bagging 71 of the 80 seats in the recent elections. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was also elected two seats in Uttar Pradesh, has quit from his pocket-borough Mainpuri and has retained Azamgarh. Under rules, a member who has been elected from two Lok Sabha constituencies has to vacate one of the seats within 14 days of the declaration of result. With Lok Sabha results out on May 16, the deadline was to expire today.
Parliament sources said the resignation of the two leaders has been received and were under process. The Prime Minister had won Vadodara with a near record margin of 5.7 lakh, which was the biggest in this Lok Sabha polls. BJP has won all the 26 seats in Gujarat. In Varanasi, Modi was challenged by the Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, whose entry into the fray had turned it into one of the most keenly watched battles of these elections. In the end, however,
Modi's nearest challenger Kejriwal was swept away when he lost by more than 3.7 lakh votes. Modi's retention of Varanasi seat indicates the importance BJP attaches to the state, which will have Assembly elections in 2017, as it wants to capture power there. It is also be seen as a thanks giving to a state which was quite crucial in BJP's march to power at the Centre.
Modi's contest from Varanasi was scripted by his close aide Amit Shah, BJP General Secretary in-charge of Uttar Pradesh as part of his strategy to ensure a big win for the party in the key state. Apart from winning 71 seats, BJP also helped its ally Apna Dal win 2 seats. On the day of the results, Modi had expressed his gratitude to the people of Vadodara for the huge win.
"After filing my nomination, I could spend only 50 minutes with you but you gave me victory by 5.70 lakh margin. I have checked up and found that only P V Narasimha Rao had won by such a big margin and that was in a bye election. Mine has been recorded in a general election," he had said. The Lok Sabha Speaker will process the resignations and after acceptance the vacancies will be intimated to the Election Commission so that bye elections can be held.
I will represent Varanasi in Lok Sabha & I look forward to this wonderful opportunity to serve Ganga Maa & work for Varanasi’s development.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 29, 2014