Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi will not be campaigning for the September 13 byelections in Uttar Pradesh, as per a list of 35 star campaigners released by the party Friday.
The party, however, downplayed it saying Gandhi family, by convention, never campaigns in bypolls.
“It has been a tradition that Gandhi family members do not campaign in byelections and that would be followed even in this byelection,” said Satyadev Tripathi,chairman, UPCC communication department.
However, party sources informed that there has been an exception in the past when Rahul had campaigned for Raj Babbar during the bypoll for Firozabad Lok Sabha seat in 2009, where he was fielded against Dimple Yadav, the daughter-in-law of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Rahul, was, however not the party vice-president then.
Meanwhile, as per the list released by the Congress, AICC secretary in-charge of the state Madhusudan Mistry, senior party leaders Jitin Prasada, Beni Prasad Verma, Sriprakash Jaiswal, Salman Khurshid, Pradeep Jain and P L Punia will lead the bypoll campaign.]
It also listed other senior party leaders like Digvijaya Singh, Motilal Vora, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Bhupendra Singh Hooda, Janardan Dwivedi and Mohsina Kidwai as star campaigners.
Pramod Tiwari, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, UPCC president Nirmal Khatri, leader of the party in UP Assembly Pradeep Mathur, senior leaders Sanjay Singh, Avinash Pandey, RPN Singh, Jitin Prasada, Rajiv Shukla, Raj Babbar, Pradeep Jain Aditya, Sachin Pilot, Begum Noor Bano, Nagma, Naseeb Singh are among the leaders who will tour the bypoll bound areas and address gatherings, he said.
In the posters, the picture of Kejriwal has the word "imandar" printed below it while that of Bedi has "avsarvadi".