Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday won the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency for a third consecutive term with a margin of 1,52,513 votes, according to Election Commission data.

The margin of his victory, however, has dropped significantly. Modi won the constituency in the 2019 election by a margin of 4,79,505, securing 6,74,664 votes against the Samajwadi Party’s Shalini Yadav. In 2014, he won in Varanasi by a margin of 3,71,784 votes.

This time, Modi was able to secure 6,12,970 votes while the Congress’ Ajai Rai trailed close behind with 4,60,457 votes.

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Varanasi is considered a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The party has won the seat eight times since 1991. However, the Congress’ RK Mishra managed to break the streak in 2004.

The prime minister has represented the seat since 2014.

The constituency is one of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. It went to the polls on June 1 in the seventh and final phase of the elections.

Polling in 542 parliamentary constituencies was held across seven phases between April 19 and June 1. The Lok Sabha has 543 seats and a party or coalition needs 272 seats to form the government.

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