The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday opened its war room in Varanasi’s Mahmoorganj area, opening up a new front in the high-profile battle between party supremo Arvind Kejriwal and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
As part of its first activity, the AAP cited its own survey covering 80,000 households out of the total 3.14 lakh in Varanasi and said Kejriwal was trailing behind Modi by 50,000 votes.
Of the 16,00,000 voters, 300,000 are Muslims.
With Mukhtar Ansari deciding against contesting from Varanasi, trying to avoid a major split in the Muslim vote bank, AAP is hopeful of an inroad. But the party keeps distancing itself from Ansari for obvious reasons. Another beneficiary may be Congress nominee Ajay Rai.
In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, as BSP nominee Ansari got 1.85 lakh votes, losing to BJP’s Murli Manohar Joshi only by about 17,000 votes.