Bengaluru, April 25 : The Congress party will have 40 of its senior leaders including the party’s former chief Sonia Gandhi, senior leader and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and current President Rahul Gandhi, to campaign ahead of the May 12 Karnataka Assembly polls.
In a letter to the Election Commission (EC) written by senior party leader Motilal Vora on Tuesday, the 40 leaders have been chosen as the “star campaigners” for the Congress.
To ensure the ruling Congress’ success in the ensuing polls, the party will also fly in to the southern state its leaders like Lok Sabha lawmaker from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, Shashi Tharoor, Rajasthan unit Congress chief Sachin Pilot, the leader of the party in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad, the party’s Lok Sabha MP from Madhya Pradesh Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia and former cricketer and party leader Mohammad Azharuddin among others.
In addition, Congress leaders from Karnataka like the state incharge K.C. Venugopal, state unit chief G. Parameshwara, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Lok Sabha lawmaker and former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily and state unit working President Dinesh Gundu Rao, among others, will also be a part of the campaign.
The party said it will also bring in popular faces from the film industry for campaigning like actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar, actor and party spokeswoman Kushboo Sundar, renowned Kannada actor and sitting MLA from Mandya M.H. Ambareesh and former Kannada actor and Congress social media incharge Ramya.
In a related development, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is also contesting in a few of Karnataka’s 224 constituencies, has also named its “star campaigners”.
The AAP President and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and other party leaders like its Rajya Sabha lawmaker Sanjay Singh, Ashutosh and actor and party member Gul Panag among a few others, are expected to visit the poll-bound state in the coming days.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will have Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a host of Union Ministers and senior leaders campaigning for the party in Karnataka.
Besides Modi and BJP national President Amit Shah, Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj (External Affairs), Smriti Irani (Information and Broadcasting), Nirmala Sitharaman (Defence), Ravi Shankar Prasad (Law and Justice), Piyush Goyal (Railways) and the party’s Lok Sabha lawmaker and veteran actress Hema Malini will soon be making a beeline to the state for campaigning.
Modi is expected to visit each of the state’s four regions — coastal, north, central and south — besides Bengaluru and Mysuru, starting May 1, addressing two-to-three rallies a day till May 10.
Polling will be held in a single phase on May 12 for 224 Assembly seats, including 36 reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 15 for the Scheduled Tribes. The votes will be counted on May 15.