NEW DELHI: The BJP unveiled its list of star campaigners for the Bihar elections who would be travelling across the state to drum up support for the saffron party.
Setting at rest the speculation over the inclusion of names of party veterans like LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, the BJP sent a list of 40 leaders to the Election Commission on Tuesday. Leading the party’s charge in the state would be Prime Minister Narendra Modi who will address a number of rallies in the state. Among the key campaigners would be BJP chief Amit Shah, chief ministers from the BJP-ruled states, the union ministers like Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari, Smriti Irani, apart from union ministers belonging to Bihar.
The party played safe by including the name of MP Shatrughan Sinha, who had been blowing hot and cold in state. Party sources said his name has been included as otherwise it could have led to a controversy, which would have harmed its prospects in the state.
The party has prepared judicious mix of leaders to woo voters in the caste-ridden state. Celebrities too have been made part of the campaigners. Party MP and actress Hema Malini, cricketer-turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, actor-MP Manoj Tewari will used for their appeal beyond the political theatre.
The star campaigners also include Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari Ananth Kumar, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Smriti Irani, Dharmendra Pradhan, Giriraj Singh and Rajiv Pratap Rudy. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das also will campaign in the state. Party’s star leaders Hema Malini and Navjot Singh Sidhu also are there in the list of campaigners.
The other names on the list are: ministers Ananth Kumar, who is also party’s election incharge of Bihar, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, ministers from Bihar: Radha Mohan Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Giriraj Singh, Ram Kirpal Yadav.
“We have three-tier list of leaders for the campaign- central leaders, state leaders and celebrities and party workers. Our list of leaders who would campaign in the state is much larger. But as rules mandate, list of 40 leaders is to be supplied to the Election Commission,” BJP general secretary Arun Singh said.
The list of star campaigners help the parties in managing their election expenditure. The money spent on star campaigners in terms of logistics is not included in the expenditure done by individual candidates in whose constituency these leaders would campaign.
The state leaders who figure in the star campaigners list are: Sushil Kumar Modi, Mangal Panday, Shahnawaz Hussain, CP Thakur, Nandkishore Yadav, Hukumdev Narain Yadav, Janak Chamar, Ajay Nishad, Nityanand rai and Stayendra Narayan Kushwaha.
Among the chief ministers, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Jharkhand CM Radghubar Das have been included. Tribal leader Arjun Munda is also part of the list.
BJP taunted JDU-RJD--Congress combine saying that they donot even have 40 leaders to showcase for their campaign, while the saffron party has huge number of leaders who would carpet bomb the state with hundreds of rallies.