It is Modi vs Modi! Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have to run against a candidate who is almost his mirror image, at least in the way he dresses, in the ongoing general election.
Abhinandan Pathak, PM Modi’s lookalike who used to campaign for the BJP, but this time he will be fighting against the party.
Abhinandan Pathak, better known as PM Modi’s doppelganger, has announced that he will contest the elections as an Independent candidate from the Uttar Pradesh capital of Lucknow.
Pathak filed his nomination as an Independent candidate on Friday and said he will also file papers from Varanasi on April 26.
“I’ll also file nomination from Varanasi on 26 (April). I am not a dummy candidate. I am not against anyone but ‘jumla’. After winning, I’ll support Rahul ji’s PM candidature,” said Mr Pathak, who filed his nomination as an Independent candidate from Lucknow on Friday.
PM Modi, who is the sitting MP from Varanasi, is also set to file his nomination for the constituency on April 26.
Abhinandan Pathak is known for dressing and speaking like the Prime Minister. He even begins his speeches with ‘Mitron’. But after he ditched the BJP-led NDA constituent Republican Party of India (Athawale) last year, the similarities started ending there. Abhinandan Pathak is known for mimicking the Prime Minister’s style, targeting him over his promises of “achche din” and depositing Rs. 15 lakh in the bank accounts of every Indian.
“Since I look like Modiji, people will always ask me where are the ‘acche din’ (good days), as promised by Modiji ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha election. Hurt by seeing problems of the common man, I left the BJP’s ally to join Congress last month,” he had said last year.
Mr Pathak had earlier participated in door-to-door canvassing for the BJP during the Gorakhpur bypoll which the party eventually lost.
“I am here to serve people and to represent them and their issues in the parliament,” said Pathak, who was also dressed like the PM in half-sleeve khadi kurta.
Pathak said he was inspired by the PM but not convinced by his government’s decisions.
“Mann ki baat kehne wale ne mann ki baat suni nahi (PM didn’t hear what people wanted). The PM failed to fulfil his promises,” said Pathak.
Pathak belongs to Saharanpur and has been living in the state capital for the past several years.
He said he was thankful to the people of Manak Nagar locality in Lucknow, where he currently lives, as they pooled in money to help him pay the security deposit for contesting the election.
“I am thankful to the people, who pooled in Rs 25,000 as security money,” he said.
As per the affidavit he submitted at the district magistrate’s office, Pathak is 51 years old and has obtained master’s degree in Hindi from Allahabad University.
The affidavit It further mentions that he has Rs 15,000 in his bank account and Rs 15,000 cash, which he earned by performing religious rituals.
Varanasi will go to polls on May 19 in the last of the seven-phase staggered national polls and the counting of votes is scheduled for May 23.
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