MUMBAI: A simple, but healthy meal was arranged for Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was here on Tuesday to participate in the BJP’s election campaign, at the party headquarters, but he took a long time to finish the food. Reason: He had to entertain the news hungry reporters first.
Parrikar’s is not an isolated case. The BJP office is witnessing an influx of star campaigners who are participating in the Assembly election campaign at various places across Maharashtra.
The BJP hopes to woo the voters in the state with a large team of its star campaigners, including its Chief Ministers and Union Ministers. The party has the largest list of star campaigners than any other party. Parrikar, who is popular among the Goan Catholics, addressed a gathering of the community in Bandra (West) for city president Ashish Shelar. He also campaigned in the city’s southern tip Colaba, the most cosmopolitan area of the city. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje too addressed voters in South Mumbai which has a large population of migrants from the state.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Chhatisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh are also expected to join the campaign later this week.
Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and his Cabinet colleagues Prakash Javadekar, Nirmala Sitharaman, Manoj Singh, Radha Mohan Singh and Raosaheb Danve are touring the state’s rural areas. However, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah top the list of the party’s star campaigners.
“We have a good number of star campaigners available in the state at the same time. It is a good sign for us,” said Madhav Bhandari, state BJP spokesperson.
On the contrary, the Congress is banking on its former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan for the campaign. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is scheduled to campaign in two phases. First, he will address rallies in Karad and Ausa on Wednesday and will visit the city again on October 11.
Party president Sonia Gandhi will campaign for only two days. Senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and P Chidambaram will also campaign for the party in the coming days.
A Congress leader tried to defend the party for not having many star campaigners by saying, “We are criticising Modi for addressing 23 rallies. What answer we will have if Soniaji or Rahulji address similar number of rallies,” he said.