New Delhi: The BJP has named just three leaders — Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, newly-appointed General Secretary Dushyant Gautam and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe — not from the state in its list of 30 star campaigners for the Madhya Pradesh bypolls.
The bypolls to 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh are to be held on 3 November.
The BJP’s star campaigner list, released Wednesday, is dominated by state leaders and misses heavyweights such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who had campaigned here ahead of the 2018 assembly elections.
Sources said that most of the party’s top leaders are occupied with elections in Bihar and the local Madhya Pradesh leadership has expressed confidence that it can manage affairs here.
While Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will be expected to lead the charge, Congress-turned-BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar and Thawar Chand Gehlot, who hail from the state, are also on the list.
Others include former state chief minister Uma Bharti, BJP national general secretary in-charge of West Bengal, Kailash Vijayvargiya, state Home Minister Narottam Mishra and PWD Minister Gopal Bhargava.
Scindia on the list, his supporters absent
While Rajya Sabha MP Jyotiraditya Scindia is on the list, none of his supporters are. Scindia had precipitated these bypolls by defecting from the Congress along with MLAs backing him.
The Congress has also taken a dig at Scindia being placed in the 10th position on the list. “During the Congress regime, Scindia was always in the top three positions,” Congress’ state coordinator Narendra Saluja said. “He toppled the Congress government and now finds himself in the 10th position. His photograph was not even used in the BJP’s rath campaign.”
The BJP had Wednesday launched a Rath Yatra that will travel to all 28 constituencies. It has posters of Chouhan and state BJP president B.D. Sharma.
BJP campaign in-charge Bhupendra Singh told ThePrint that the chief minister’s face features prominently as he is the face of the campaign. “There is no question of ignoring Scindia; he is an important leader in the state.”