BJP on Sunday released a list of star campaigners for its Himachal Pradesh Assembly Elections 2017, media reports said. The list includes Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
BJP releases list of star campaigners for upcoming Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections pic.twitter.com/2satyj75IP
— ANI (@ANI) October 22, 2017
The BJP's prominent local faces for its Himachal Pradesh campaign include former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Union health minister JP Nadda and Hamirpur MP Anurag Thakur. "The prime minister is likely to address one rally each in four parliamentary constituencies. We are planning one of his rallies in and around Shimla," a senior BJP leader told IANS.
Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, J P Nadda, Thawar Chand Gehlot, Smriti Irani, Uma Bharti, Vijay Sampla and V K Singh will be campaigning for the 9 November polls in the hill state.
Prominent BJP leaders such as national organising secretary Ram Lal, national spokesman Sambit Patra and Himachal Pradesh BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti are also among the star campaigners of the party.
The reason to hold Modi's rally in Shimla is that Congress leader and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh is contesting from Arki, which is just 40 km from here, and his son Vikramaditya Singh is also likely to be in the fray from Shimla (Rural) seat, which lies on the outskirts of the state capital.
The BJP has also roped in its chief ministers : Manohar Lal Khattar of Haryana, Yogi Adityanath of Uttar Pradesh and Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh, among others, to campaign in the state. Ahead of the announcement of the Assembly elections, Modi, Shah, Jaitley and Rajnath Singh had toured the state.
Likewise, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi held a public meeting in Mandi town on 7 October where he announced Virbhadra Singh will "become the chief minister for the seventh time".
He officially declared him the "commander" who will lead the party to victory.
In contrast, the Opposition BJP, which contends it is confident of clawing back to power in the state, is still a divided house.
"There is too much confusion over who will lead the party in the Assembly elections," a senior state BJP leader, who did not wish to be identified, told IANS.
On 18 October, the BJP had announced its list of 68 candidates. The party, however, is silent on declaring the chief ministerial candidate. The race for the top post is on between Dhumal and Union minister JP Nadda. Dhumal will contest from a new seat Sujanpur while state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti will re-contest from Una, according to the party's list of candidates
On Saturday, as many as 95 nominations were filed for the 9 November Himachal Pradesh Assembly polls. With this, the total number of nominations filed for the polls so far has gone up to 195.
The Congress has so far not announced the names of its candidates in nine constituencies. Veteran Congress leader and irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes (89), who was the likely candidate of the party from Theog, was suddenly taken ill and rushed to the Fortis Hospital at Mohali on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the BJP also lodged a complaint with the chief election commissioner that the ruling Congress in the state was allegedly misusing the official machinery.
The BJP in its complaint also alleged that the official residence of the chief minister was being used as the Congress's party office even after declaration of polls and imposition of the model code of conduct.
With inputs from agencies
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Updated Date: Oct 23, 2017 06:50:03 IST