Star campaigners lined up for Assam Assembly poll

Major parties have lined up a long list of star campaigners to woo voters in Assam where Assembly polls are scheduled for April 4 and 11.

Updated: Mar 22, 2011, 12:37 PM IST

Guwahati: Major parties have lined up a long
list of star campaigners to woo voters in Assam where Assembly
polls are scheduled for April 4 and 11.

The ruling Congress, bidding for return to power for the
third consecutive term, has a long list of prominent persons,
including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson
Sonia Gandhi, to campaign for the party.

There are others like Youth Congress leader Rahul Gandhi,
Union ministers Pranab Mukherjee, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ambika
Soni, Sachin Pilot and Subodh Kant Sahai, party spokesman
Bichitra Choduhury said.

The party has also lined up several leaders from the
Northeast including Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Dorjee
Khandu, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, Mizoram Chief
Minister Lalthanhawla, former chief ministers Mukut Mithi of
Arunachal Pradesh and SC Jamir of Nagaland.

Assam`s Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi recently said the
party would not bring any Bollywood star to campaign for his
party, but will solely depend upon its leaders and grass root

The BJP, not to be left behind, has already launched an
aggressive campaign in the state though its national leaders
are yet to make their presence felt.

The party has also lined big leaders like former deputy
prime minister LK Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari,
former presidents Rajnath Singh and M Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma
Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Varun Gandhi, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Rajiv
Pratap Rudy, Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Ananth Kumar.

State unit president Ranjit Dutta said the party would
also bring successful chief ministers of BJP-ruled states,
including Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Jharkhand
Chief Minister Arjun Munda and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister
Sushil Modi, to campaign for the party in the state.

Politicians apart, Bollywood stars Hema Malini and
Shatrughan Sinha along with television stars Smriti Irani and
cricketer Navjot Singh Siddhu are to take part in the
campaign, Dutta said.

The other two main parties with a predominant role in
the forthcoming polls - the Asom Gana Parishad and Asom United
Democratic Front - however, have no national leader to
campaign for them.

The AGP is depending on their local leaders including
President Chandra Mohan Patowary, former President and twice
Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, former president
Brindabon Goswami and several other former state ministers.

The Left parties in the state though having a limited
presence of only three seats in the current Assembly has an
impressive list of campaigners with all top leaders, including
CPM General Secretary Prakash Karat, scheduled to address
rallies in the state.

Politburo members Sitaram Yechury, Brinda Karat, Biman
Bose, Mohd Amin, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and
central secretariat members Nilotpal Basu, Rama Das, Bajuban
Riyan, Uddhab Barman, Hemen Das and Noorul Huda are also
expected to address the masses during the run-up to the polls.

The Nationalist Congress Party, which had won only one
seat in the outgoing Assembly, also has several national
level leaders scheduled to visit the state and they include
Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, former Lok Sabha
Speaker P A Sangma and Union ministers Praful Patel and Agatha
Sangma among others.

Other national leaders scheduled to campaign in the
state are Samajwadi Party president Mulayum Singh Yadav,
Lok Janashakti Party national president Ram Vilas Paswan and
Trinamool Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee.