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India's Narendra Modi 'overwhelmed' by mass support in Varanasi

Published on Apr 24, 2014 7:51 PM
 
India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate and Chief Minister of the western Indian state of Gujarat Narendra Modi (centre) waves to supporters as he arrives to file his election nomination papers in Varanasi on April 24, 2014. Indian election frontrunner Narendra Modi said he was "overwhelmed" Thursday, April 24, 2014, by a huge show of support in Varanasi as the Hindu nationalist leader entered the contest to become the holy city's member of parliament. -- PHOTO: AFP

VARANASI, India (AFP) - Indian election frontrunner Narendra Modi said he was "overwhelmed" Thursday by a huge show of support in Varanasi as the Hindu nationalist leader entered the contest to become the holy city's member of parliament.

The streets of the ancient city on the banks of the river Ganges were flooded by people keen to greet or at least glimpse the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader as he came to file his nomination papers.

"I feel overwhelmed by the love the people of Kashi (the ancient name of Varanasi) have shown me and I bow to this land and its traditions," said the 63-year-old at the nomination centre.

"It feels like Mother Ganga has called me here. The way a son goes back to his mother's lap, that's how I feel today." India's multi-phase general election began on April 7 but does not wrap up until May 12 when Varanasi and a host of other constituencies in the state of Uttar Pradesh go to the polls.

 
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