New Delhi (Web Desk): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday filed nomination papers in Varanasi.
Before filing the nomination papers, Modi flanked by Amit Shah, president of his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janta Party, and several state chief ministers prayed at a temple.
Voting in three of the seven phases of the staggered elections has finished. In total, some 900 million people are registered to vote for candidates to fill 543 seats in India's lower house of Parliament. Voting concludes on May 19 and counting is scheduled for May 23.
With around 1.7m voters, Varanasi will go the polls on May 19. The election is seen as a referendum on Modi and his party.
The campaigning has been marred by accusations, insults and unprecedented use of social media to spread false information.
Varanasi is one of the holiest cities for Hindus in India and is based at the banks of the Ganges River, or Ganga. Hindus believe Varanasi is the center of the world and anyone who dies in the city attains salvation.