- Gaurav Sharma
"Why should I vote for Arvind Kejriwal when he doesn't have a chance here? And why not Modi?" snaps Shrikant Poddar at AAP leader Manish Sisodia, who nonchalantly sips tea at a stall in one of the busiest markets of Varanasi.
"He has committed a mistake by deciding to contest against (Narendra) Modi. He will end up losing his deposit," the 60-year-old businessman, who sports three horizontal sandal paste stripes on his wizened forehead, ridicules Aam Aadmi Party's chief further.
Having lent his ear to this die-hard Modi supporter, Sisodia asks him to single out one reason for supporting Modi and outrightly rejecting Kejriwal.
"BJP will win 300 seats because of Modi. He will give better future," Poddar responds off-hand.
To Sisodia's another poser on how would Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate transform this chaotic city into a modern one, Poddar says: "Better future, what else? I am not against Kejriwal. He is a good man."
Sisodia smiles and enters into the labyrinth of bylanes of teeming Godowalia Market to court the support of hundreds of traders for Kejriwal who will take on Modi in arguably the most-watched electoral battle of the on-going general elections.
That's how Sisodia - Kejriwal's closest colleague - is laying the ground for the former Delhi chief minister's poll campaign in Varanasi. The temple city goes to polls May 12.