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"Don't need much election campaign in Varanasi, people proud of India's global stature under PM Modi": EAM Jaishankar

Varanasi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Sunday exuded confidence in BJP's victory in Varanasi, saying that much election campaigning was not required here and that the people here were proud of India's global stature under the leadership of PM Modi.
While speaking to ANI in Varanasi, Jaishankar expressed his observation that the people of the city have exhibited a strong desire to delve into India's foreign policy, indicating their pride in the country's trajectory under PM Modi's governance.
"I have experienced this in this election campaign that people wish to know more about the country's foreign policy. They feel proud of where PM Modi has taken this country," Jaishankar said.
He highlighted the Modi government's tradition of seeking feedback from citizens, reflecting a commitment to participatory governance. "It's the Modi government's tradition to ask for feedback from people... We don't need to do much election campaign here in Varanasi," he added.
"We celebrated G20 like a festival in about 60 cities across the country... I think tourism will definitely increase here in the coming days... We want to promote Kashi. We want to create its international image," he also said.
Jaishankar's schedule in Varanasi included interactions with educators and intellectuals, where he emphasised the pivotal role of education in shaping India's future.
During a session titled "Empowerment with Education for Better Tomorrow" at a local school, Jaishankar delved into the multifaceted dimensions of education, emphasising its relevance in a modern, technological era and a globalised world.
He further stressed the importance of education in fostering inclusivity and nurturing India's civilisational power, a sentiment resonating deeply in the ancient city of Kashi.
Reflecting on Varanasi's unique position, Jaishankar noted the city's minimal need for extensive election campaigning, attributing it to the populace's inherent pride in India's achievements on the global stage.
"When I was given this subject, Teaching For a Better Tomorrow, I thought a bit about it and four dimensions came into my mind. Education for a modern era but for a technological era, education for a globalised era, education for an inclusive Bharat and it's obvious to say it in Kashi, education for a civilisational power. We are very special people... Two major powers who have a whole long civilisation, one is us and one is China," Jaishankar remarked, highlighting the significance of education in shaping a progressive society.
Notably, the Varanasi seat comprises five Assembly segments, including Rohaniya, Varanasi North, Varanasi South, Varanasi Cantt, and Sevapuri.
Varanasi is the stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party and PM Modi. This will be the most anticipated contest in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. PM Modi won the constituency with resounding majority in both the 2014 and 2019 general polls.
Congress has pitted Ajay Rai against PM Modi. Rai is the Opposition INDIA bloc's joint nominee against the Prime Minister. The UP Congress chief, Rai, was also fielded by the Congress against the PM in Varanasi in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls, but he finished third both times.
This is the third time Ajay Rai will face Modi in a 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 per cent.
In 2014, Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency witnessed a clash between Narendra Modi, then the BJP's prime ministerial candidate and AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. PM Modi won the elections with a margin exceeding 3 lakh votes.
In 2014, PM Modi contested two Lok Sabha seats- from Gujarat's Vadodara and Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi.

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