Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a day-long visit to his parliamentary constituency of Varanasi on Monday and struck a chord with residents of the city by referring to himself as their 'Sevak' and offering prayers at the prominent Kashi Vishwanath temple.
"For the country I am the Prime Minister, but for you, I am your MP, I am your sevak," said Prime Minister Modi while addressing party workers at the Deen Dayal Hastkala Sankul in the city.
He also started his address by greeting BJP workers of the region in Bhojpuri. "Pranam Baa" (I bow to you), Modi said.
Modi arrived at the police line helipad of the city and left directly for Kashi Vishwanath temple. From his slow-moving cavalcade, he greeted those who had lined up on both sides of the largely barricaded road to catch a glimpse of their leader.
Sitting on the front seat of a black rang-rover, a visibly elated Modi greeted citizens of his constituency as his convoy passed through the road, parts of which were decorated with saffron balloons.
Modi prayed at Kashi Vishwanath temple and offered flowers and 'Gangajal' (Ganga water) to Shivlinga inside the temple premises.
He was accomped by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and BJP president Amit Shah in his first visit to his parliamentary constituency after his party registered a massive electoral victory.
Addressing BJP workers on his first visit to his constituency after the massive mandate for him and his coalition in the country, Modi asserted that chemistry prevailed over arithmetic in the Lok Sabha elections.
Accusing political experts of attempting to create a negative perception about his party which was still being treated as a political untouchable, he also said that the hattrick of results in 2014, 2017 and 2019 polls in the Uttar Pradesh has given a new direction to national politics.
The political experts were also practising selective sensitivity and humsm when it comes to killings of BJP workers in Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura by keeping quiet on the killings of hundreds of BJP workers for political reasons, he said.
"Today Uttar Pradesh has given a direction to national politics. Even though I am speaking from Kashi but all of the Uttar Pradesh need to be thanked. The state is consolidating the base of democracy. 2014, 2017 and 2019 is a hattrick of BJP win and Uttar Pradesh has a major contribution. Like in 1977, the elections in 2014, 2017 and 2019 they are not local results. But even after three elections if political pundits are not able to read the situation and understand our work if they do not agree then their thoughts have faded. They are for the 20th century not for the 21st century."
Apparently referring to the grand alliance of SP-BSP and RLD, Modi said, "We regard a grounded person more than a person who had plenty of degrees. There is chemistry ahead of arithmetic. There is a chemistry of society and power, ideals and will and it defeats all the permutations and combinations."
Conceding that politics is all about perceptions and maintaining "we are what we are", he said the established opposition of the past 70 years made use of lies to make sure there is a wrong and distorted perception about us. Bad perceptions can be defeated by transparency and hard work. We have to take forward positivity."
But, Modi said, there was no alternative to hard work and leadership, amidst of all negativity.
"We feel this success is harmony between government and party. Whether it is in the states or the Centre there should be a synergy between the government and the party. The government does policy, the party does strategy. There should be a synergy between policy and strategy. When there is synergy then the country is reaping its benefits."
Referring to the functioning of Parliament, Modi said it should be used for debate. "But when the opposition has no issues and they are afraid of being exposed then they make noise and stall proceedings of parliament. Constitution gives us the responsibility to recognise oppositions power and wherever we get chance we make the opposition say. Even if it is one person he should be allowed"
Modi also said the country has been wrecked by vote bank politics in the past. "Our democracy is crushed by vote bank politics. No one gets the courage to speak openly due to vote bank politics. The poor people of the country had to wait for so long to make their voices heard. No one was ready to hear them. It was not that they were not speaking, it was not that they were not expressing, it was not that there were movements. Everything was happening but no one was doing anything because they were thinking of vote bank politics."
The Prime Minister then said, "It was our thinking to rise above vote bank politics and think of Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas. And that is why we implemented the 10 per cent reservation for general category. If we would have followed vote bank politics, then we would have also gone the same way. Whoever is the citizen of my country should get the benefits of the government's scheme."
Modi is set to take oath as the Prime Minister for a second term on May 30 after being elected as the leader of BJP-led NDA alliance on Saturday.
He was re-elected from Varanasi by a huge margin of 4.79 lakh votes in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.
( With inputs from ANI )