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As Varanasi votes, PM Modi is back in Gujarat after wrapping up UP Campaign

Ahmedabad: While on Wednesday morning brisk voting was reported from Varanasi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's parliamentary constituency in Uttar Pradesh, PM Modi was back in his home state Gujarat, praying at the famous Somnath temple.

He was accompanied by BJP chief Amit Shah. Both leaders are in Gujarat after a hectic campaign that saw them camped in Varanasi in a bid to secure the crucial eastern UP region for the BJP in assembly elections in the country's most populous state.

In Somnath, PM Modi and Mr Shah will attend a meeting of the temple trust of which both are members, before PM Modi returns to capital Gandhinagar to address 6,000 women sarpanch or village heads on Women's Day. Last night he was hosted for dinner by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani attended by BJP members of parliament and party legislators in Gujarat.

PM Modi's visit to Gujarat is being linked to assembly elections in his home state due later this year. A massive revolt by the Patels or Patidaars in Gujarat, once a staunch support base of the BJP, has put the party on the backfoot after over two decades of ruling the state.

As Amit Shah drove up to Somnath on Monday night, Patel protesters threw eggs at his cavalcade and raised slogans against him. The Patels are angry that the BJP government has not accepted its demand for reservation in government jobs and colleges.