Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday launched her party's campaign for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections in the constituency.
The Congress president reached Varanasi for a day-long programme in the constituency and was led by hundreds of bikers, waving party flags from the airport to the heart of the city.
Gandhi is also set to participate in a road show which would take her to various parts of the city.
This is Gandhi's first visit to Varanasi after Modi became Prime Minister.
Gandhi is scheduled to visit the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in the evening to offer prayers.
Uttar Pradesh party chief Raj Babbar and senior leaders such as Ghulam Nabi Azad, Salman Khurshid, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Pramod Tiwari, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Zafar Ali, Sanjay Singh, Rana Goswami, Rajesh Mishra, Ajay Rai, Rajeshpati Tripathi etc. are also likely to take part in the roadshow.
Sonia Gandhi led Congress roadshow begins in Varanasi (UP) pic.twitter.com/5q9dmJimpL— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 2, 2016
Congress president Sonia Gandhi pays tribute to Dr. BR Ambedkar in Varanasi (UP) pic.twitter.com/aVdLi5tSnJ— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 2, 2016
UP: Congress President Sonia Gandhi arrives in Varanasi, will lead party's road show here. pic.twitter.com/yk9h74Zj4s— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 2, 2016
Congress has launched a campaign "dard-e-banaras" to highlight lack of development in Varanasi, which Modi is representing for over two years in the Lok Sabha.
The roadshow will begin from Kachahari after party leaders garland the statue of BR Ambedkar and will cover a distance of around eight kilometers in three hours.
It will conclude at Englishiyaline where Sonia Gandhi is expected to deliver a short speech and garland the statue of former Union Minister and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister late Kamlapati Tripathi.
Maintaining that the roadshow is a part of the party's '27 saal, UP Behaal' campaign, Shiela Dikshit had on Monday launched an attack on the ruling Samajwadi Party (SP) in the state for the recent Bulandshahr gangrape incident.
"Law and order in the state under the?SP has worsened and the recent incident of Bulandshahr was highly condemnable," she said, adding that the Congress wants to rid the state of "SP, BSP and BJP misrule of the last 27 years" and put it on the path towards development.
(With PTI inputs)