In the last leg,parties call in their stars

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party plan to sweep the city with star campaigners in the last leg of their publicity drive for the municipal elections scheduled coming Sunday.

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: April 10, 2012 1:44 am

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) plan to sweep the city with star campaigners in the last leg of their publicity drive for the municipal elections scheduled coming Sunday.

The Congress’s line-up includes parliamentarian and former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin,Minister of State Harish Rawat and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah.

After having its manifesto launched by national president Nitin Gadkari,the BJP though is unlikely to bring in more national faces,sources said,and will rely on state leaders and celebrity politicians.

The party is expected to get former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu and TV star Smriti Irani,both parliamentarians,MP Rajnath Singh and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri.

Congress sources said Farooq Abdullah is expected to campaign in support of Ramesh Dutta,the party’s candidate from the Minto Road ward. “He is set to campaign in areas dominated by Muslims. At present,he has given his confirmation to campaign for Ramesh Dutta,” a party leader said.

Former Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari’s son Imam Hassan Bhukhari will also campaign for Congress candidates,mostly in Muslim dominated areas,a source said.

The party is also trying to rope in Garhwal MP Satpal Maharaj to campaign in pockets were voters from Uttarakhand are based. “He is a known face among people from that region. Candidates are requesting him to campaign in RK Puram,” a source said.

The BJP,too,is busy chalking out last minute plans,though it seems to have desisted from bringing in national leaders after Gadkari’s visit last week to launch its manifesto highlighting corruption allegations against Congress governments.

Taking a dig at Gadkari later for showing keen interest in municipal polls,Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had said,“Gadkari is a national leader and has no knowledge of municipal issues. They have nothing to talk about their performance. That is why they are raising national issues.”

A BJP source said parliamentarians B S Koshiyari and Rajeev Pratap Rudy and the party’s senior leader from UP Kalraj Mishra will campaign with BJP candidates till Friday.

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