Advani, Joshi missing from star BJP campaigners' list for Bihar

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Patna, Sep 10: Veteran BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi as well as Bollywood actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha are missing from a list of star campaigners for the BJP-led NDA ahead of the Bihar assembly polls.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who helped the BJP ride to power at the Centre after 10 years, would be the star campaigner for the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

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"In the first list of 40 star campaigners prepared by the BJP, the names of Advani, Joshi and (party MP) Shatrughan Sinha are missing," a BJP leader said here on Thursday.

This will be first time when the names of the trio are missing from the list of BJP star campaigners for either assembly or Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.

Another senior BJP leader told IANS on the condition of anonymity that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, union ministers Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Radha Mohan Singh, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Giriraj Singh, Manohar Parrikar, Anant Kumar and Dharmendra Pradhan would be the star campaigners for the NDA.

Besides, other leaders, including former union ministers and senior party leaders from Bihar, have also been enlisted for campaigning for the BJP and its allies.

"But the main star campaigner will be Modi, as he is most popular in Bihar and elsewhere," the BJP leader said.

Modi is likely to address nearly a dozen 'Parivartan' rallies to seek votes during the campaign ahead of the five-phase assembly polls beginning on October 12.

Modi has already addressed four such rallies in Muzaffarpur, Gaya, Saharsa and Bhagalpur districts.

The BJP leaders said that party workers were happy with the public response to Modi's rallies so far.

The high-tech 'Parivartan Rath' campaign has already touched base with most of the 243 assembly constituencies in the state. BJP party president Amit Shah flagged off 160 GPS-fitted raths (chariots) in July to reach out to people in all villages across Bihar.

However, the BJP is yet to finalise the seat-sharing arrangement with its allies, with reports indicating that the Lok Janshakti Party, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and Hindustani Awam Morcha are staking claim to more seats.

This has put the BJP in a quandary as the Election Commission announced the dates for assembly polls on Wednesday.

On the other hand, the Janata Dal-United, Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress have finalised their seat-sharing arrangement and are likely to announce the names of their respective candidates soon.

IANS

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