New Delhi: All eyes are on Varanasi, the holiest place for the Hindus. BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s candidature from Varanasi has made it a politically very important city in this election season. But, it is not the only holy city or religious place, which is also a Lok Sabha seat. There are at least two dozen such Lok Sabha seats in India.
Amritsar is the holiest place for the Sikhs. The Golden Temple is at Amritsar. Like Varanasi, Amritsar is also witnessing a high decibel campaign. The BJP leader Arun Jaitley is trying to enter the Lok Sabha through Amritsar. This is his first direct election. He is facing former chief minister of Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh who is contesting on Congress ticket.
Another holy shrine for Sikhs, the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh Patna Saheb in Bihar, will see Shatrughan Sinha in the fray. Gaya in Bihar is also a holy place for the Hindus. It is also one of the important Lok Sabha seats in Bihar.
Ajmer in Rajasthan is a holy place not just for the Muslims, but also for all religions. Lakhs of people visit Ajmer Sharief Dargah every year. Ajmer has also emerged as one of the hottest seats because of its sitting MP Sachin Pilot of the Congress.
Another holy place Haridwar was represented by Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat in the last Lok Sabha. Shirdi in Maharashtra is also one of the top religious places in India. The Shiv Sena and the Congress are locking horns here. Ashok Chavan is contesting from Nanded, where Guru Gobind Singh died.
World’s second richest temple Tirupati is also a Lok Sabha seat. Like Shirdi, it is also reserved for Scheduled Caste candidates. Puri in Orissa is also a famous religious place. Allahabad in UP is also another holy place. It once sent several stalwarts to Parliament.
Madhurai, Kancheepuram and Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu have been important pilgrim centres for centuries. All three are Lok Sabha seats. Another holy place Rameshwarm is a part of Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha seat.