Narendra Modi is garlanding a statue of Sardar Patel.
The BJP's prime ministerial candidate reaches Kashi Vidyapeeth.
Modi set to begin his roadshow ahead of filing nomination.
Narendra Modi pays respect at a statue of Madan Mohan Malaviya at the Banaras Hindu University amidst huge enthusiastic crowd.
Tens of thousands have gathered in Varanasi to join a roadshow that will culminate in BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi filing his nomination for the Lok Sabha election.
The crowd massed outside the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) where Modi is scheduled to garland a statue of its founder, Madan Mohan Malaviya, at the start of the show of strength. His supporters kept raising slogans praising Modi. "Modiji is our future, and the entire BHU is with him," said an undergraduate student of the university wearing a Modi mask -- like many others.
Most people in the overwhelmingly male gathering wore identical saffron caps.
Narendra Modi has arrived in Varanasi to file nomination for the mega battle.
The BJP has made hectic preparations for the day when Modi will undertake a "grand road show" before filing his papers for the mega battle in this holy city where he is challenged by Congress leader Ajay Rai, Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal and others.
Several hundred kg of rose petals and other flowers have been ordered, party leaders said.
Ahead of filing nomination, Modi, on microblogging website twitter, sought blessings and expressed gratitude for party workers.
Modi will spend over four hours in Varanasi, a BJP leader said.
A list of 10 proposers of Modi has been sent to his office, the party leader said, adding Modi would be clearing the name of four people.
Another function has been organised where the Gujarat Chief Minister will be offered blessings by over 100 priests.
Modi will arrive at Lal Bahadur Shastri airport this morning from where he will go to Benaras Hindu University campus by helicopter to pay tribute to Pandit Madan Mohan Malvya at his statue in the Lanka crossing.
Then he will go to Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, one of the premier educational institutions here, where he will garland the statute of Sardar Ballabh Bhai Patel and start his road show.
Modi will also pay tribute to Vivekanada and Amebdkar at their statues in the Cantonment area and Collectorate Square respectively.
Several hundred kg of rose petals and other flowers have been ordered for use during the roadshow.
According to an estimate by Modi's campaign managers, lakhs of people are expected to participate in the two-km-long road show from Nadesar to Kacheri locality in the heart of the city during which a number of leading local organisations will greet him. Elaborate plans have been made for security of the BJP leader.
Though invited all sections of people to the road show, the party has specifically requested the citizens from Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, residing here, to come in their traditional attire.
The Gujarat Chief Minister will be flying in to Varanasi on Thursday morning and would attend a string of events, including garlanding of statues of Banaras Hindu University founder Madan Mohan Malviya, BR Ambedkar, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Swami Vivekanand. He would then hold a roadshow ahead of filing his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha election at the district collectorate.