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Star campaigners to up the ante
The last ten days of the election campaign, which ends on April 15, will be packed with election rallies and public meetings as the main contenders for Pune Lok Sabha seat aim at reaching out to as many voters as possible.
Star campaigners of major political parties will have a key role to play. On Saturday, the Congress organised a road show of former Indian cricket team captain and now Congress leader Mohammad Azharuddin. It has planned more such road shows with celebrities. Close on the heels of Union Home Minister and Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde holding a public meeting in the city, next week will see party vice-president Rahul Gandhi campaigning for candidate Vishwajeet Kadam, who is also state youth congress chief. State Industries Minister Narayan Rane will also hold a public meeting.
The BJP has planned to bring its star campaigner Narendra Modi to address public meeting. After the election in Vidarbha on April 10, senior party leader Nitin Gadkari is expected to campaign for candidate Anil Shirole. Party chief Rajnath Singh will also hold a public meeting in the city while yoga guru Baba Ramdev has decided to hold a rally on April 13. Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray and RPI leader Ramdas Athawale will also hold poll rallies in the city.
MNS chief Raj Thackeray launched the election campaign of the party candidate Deepak Paigude on Monday in the central part of the city. The party has planned four more rallies of Thackeray at four corners of the city, with two scheduled on Sunday at Yerawada and Wanowrie. Sharmila Thackeray, wife of Raj, will hold road shows in the city while other MNS leaders have also lined up rallies.
On Wednesday, social activist Medha Patkar, who is also contesting the Lok Sabha elections in Mumbai as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate, addressed a meeting organised as part of AAP candidate Subhash Ware’s campaign. The AAP is also planning to get party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and senior leader Yogendra Yadav to campaign for Ware.