CM`s wife among star campaigners in Maha polls
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Last Updated: Sunday, October 04, 2009, 12:35
New Delhi: Ameeta Chavan, wife of Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and Varsha Patel, wife of Union Minister Praful Patel figure among the star campaigners for the Congress and the NCP respectively for the October 13 Assembly polls in the state.

Their names are among the 40 star campaigners submitted by the two parties to the Election Commission with the Congress list headed by party chief Sonia Gandhi and that of the NCP by party supremo Sharad Pawar.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party leader Rahul Gandhi, Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee and A K Antony, AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh are prominent central leaders of the Congress among the campaigners.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, PCC chief Manikrao Thakre, Union Ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde are among the state leaders tasked for the job by the Congress as also senior Minister Narayan Rane.

The NCP campaigners include several state ministers and party MPs including Ajit Pawar, Supriya Sule, Dilip Walse Patil, Madhukar Pichad, Babanrao Pachpute, Sunil Tatkare.

Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal and his nephew Samir Bhujbal are also among those who will canvass support for the NCP as also state party chief R R Patil, Union Minister Praful Patel and former Lok Sabha Speaker P A Sangma.

The Samajwadi Party, which is part of the Third Front, has almost all its campaigners drawn from Uttar Pradesh. They include party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and general secretary Amar Singh and a host of MPs and former MPs from UP, including Mohan Singh, Jaya Bachchan and Jayaprada.

As regards the Opposition BJP-Shiv Sena combine, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Bal Thackeray are virtually their non-playing captains during campaigning.

Even though they have not stirred out for canvassing support, the former Prime Minister and the Shiv Sena supremo have been named the top campaigners by the combine.

The posters of Vajpayee and Thackeray are now being used across the state in the campaigning as also their names in cassettes and CDs as they will not be personally present.

In the list of the 40 star campaigners submitted by BJP and the Shiv Sena to the EC, the two patriarch-like figures figure on the top.

Vajpayee is in retirement mode owing to his ill health and the ailing Sena supremo Thackeray has virtually left the rough and tumble to his son and working president Uddhav.

Shiv Sena's Dasara rally, which was addressed by senior Thackeray every year for nearly four decades, was not held this year as the leader said he would address a victory rally of the combine after the results are out on October 22.

Others among the BJP's star campaigners are L K Advani, Rajnath Singh, Murli Manohar Joshi, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj along with former Goa chief minister Manohar Parrikar, whose "rancid pickle" remark against Advani had recently created a flutter.

Shatrughan Sinha, who has created a stir by praising Rahul Gandhi, is also among the 40 star campaigners.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, October 04, 2009, 12:35

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