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BJP supporters attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s election campaign meeting in Varanasi (Express photo by Vishal Srivastava)

Apart from State Tourism Minister Neelkanth Tiwari (Varanasi South), other ministers competing in the final stage are Anil Rajbhar (Shivpur-Varanasi), Ravindra Jaiswal (Varanasi North), Girish Yadav (Jaunpur) and Ramashankar Singh Patel (Marihan-Mirzapur) .

Dara Singh Chauhan, who had resigned from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet and joined the SP, challenges Ghosi to Mau. SBSP chairman Om Prakash Rajbhar (Zahoorabad), Dhananjay Singh (Malhani-Jaunpur) as JD(U) candidate and Abbas Ansari, the son of mobster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, of Mau Sadar headquarters, are arguing over this phase . The latest phase campaign reached its crescendo with Prime Minister Narendra Modi leading the BJP blitz in Varanasi and neighboring districts. Apart from addressing the campaign rallies, he also organized a road show for the three Cantonment Assembly constituencies, Varanasi North and Varanasi South.

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This phase also saw West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress Leader Mamata Banerjee descend on the pilgrimage town to hold a joint rally with Akhilesh Yadav and his RLD ally Jayant Chaudhary. Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had been camping in Varanasi for about four days and she, along with her brother Rahul Gandhi, addressed election meetings, while BSP supremo Mayawati also campaigned in the district and the neighboring regions.