Aam Aadmi Party Leader Declares Candidacy in Varanasi

VARANASI, India — It was after sunset on Tuesday when Arvind Kejriwal, the leader of the Aam Aadmi Party in India, asked a field packed with spectators whether he should run for Parliament in the ancient holy city of Varanasi.

“Yes!” roared the crowd, who had gathered at the Benia Bagh Maidan in a poor area occupied by both Hindus and Muslims.

“I accept this challenge,” said Mr. Kejriwal, the former chief minister of Delhi, to the sound of applause and cheers, thereby turning Varanasi into one of the most hotly contested battlegrounds in the 2014 Indian national elections.

Mr. Kejriwal, 45, will be facing Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who is also contending for a seat in the Lok Sabha, or lower house of Parliament, from this city on the banks of the Ganges River, where 1.6 million voters will head to the polls on May 12…read it at The New York Times.

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