As per the new Election Commission (EC) guidelines in view of Covid-19, the number of star campaigners for a recognized national or state party has been reduced to 30 from 40 and for an unrecognized party to 15 from 20.
Since the EC has also allowed small rallies and public gatherings, every political party has to submit its list of star campaigners to the district election authorities at least 48 hours before the public meeting.
For BJP, home minister Amit Shah, party’s national president JP Nadda and minister of textiles Smriti Irani would spearhead the central campaign teamcampaign. BJP state general secretary Devesh Kumar said the star campaigners would be a mix of central and state leaders. “Nadda ji, Amit ji, Smriti ji, party’s national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav, former Maharashtra CM and Bihar election incharge Devendra Fadnavis among other top leaders will be the star campaigners from the central team. From state are Sushil Kumar Modi, union ministers Nityanand Rai, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Giriraj Singh, Ravi Shankar Prasad and RK Singh besides Rajiv Pratap Ruddy, Prem Kumar, Radha Mohan Singh, Sanjay Jaiswal and Nand Kishore Yadav,” he said. “The list will be released phase-wise. Some new faces will be there,” he added.
Bihar CM and JD(U) president Nitish Kumar along with other senior leaders would be the star campaigners of his party. JD(U) state spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Prasad said apart from Nitishji, RCP Singh, Ashok Choudhary, Lalan Singh, Sanjay Jha and Bashishth Narayan Singh and Kehkasha Parveen would be the star campaigners. “The list will be released phase-wise,” he said.
Rajiv said the party would hold small rallies and show on virtual platforms through the digital raths.
Congress on Saturday released a list of 30 star campaigners, who include Sonia Gandhi, former PM Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Meira Kumar, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Shaktisinh Gohil, Sachin Pilot, Randeep Singh Surjewala, Shatrughan Sinha, Shakeel Ahmed, Raj Babbar, Pramod Tiwari, Ashok Gehlot and Captain Amarinder Singh. Bhupesh Baghel, Madan Mohan Jha, Tariq Anwar, former governor Nikhil Kumar, Sadanand Singh, Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Sanjay Nirupam, Kirti Azad, Udit Raj, Imran Pratapgarhi, Prem Chand Mishra, Anil Sharma, Ajay Kapoor, Mohammed Jawed and Virender Singh Rathore are also in the list.
Congress’s national general secretary and MP KC Venugopal shared the list with the Election Commission of India.
RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s wife and former CM Rabri Devi, their sons Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, Tej Pratap Yadav and daughter Misa Bharti would be the main star campaigners of the party.
RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said the list would be finalized in the next few days once the candidates for the remaining constituencies are announced. “Altogether 12 leaders have been selected as the star campaigners so far, including four from Laluji’s family,” he said.
“The list will represent all communities. RJD state president Jagdanand Singh is a Rajput while Shivchandra Ram and Uday Narayan Choudhary represent Dalits, MP AD Singh is a Bhumihar, Alok Mehta a Kushwaha and senior leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui represents the Muslim community,” Tiwari said.
He said RJD will hold over 100 rallies and small meetings. “However, door-to-door campaigning would be the priority,” he added.