After leading the BJP to a huge victory nationwide, Modi visited Varanasi and stressed his commitment to clean up the Ganga and develop Varanasi as a centre for culture, heritage and tourism. He had won from Varanasi by over three lakh votes against his nearest rival, AAP leader and former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. In Vadodara, Modi won by a margin of 570,000 votes.
Modi's decision to retain Varanasi is seen in political circles as another hint that the BJP will step up its campaign against the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP won 71 of the 80 seats in the state, while its ally Apna Dal won another two seats. With Modi's decision, it is after 10 years that India again has a prime minister elected to the Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1988-2004) was the MP from Lucknow. (IANS)