Congress ex-president Rahul Gandhi, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, ex-deputy chief minister of Rajasthan Sachin Pilot and ex-minister of Punjab Navjot Singh Sidhu are among the top star campaigners of Congress for the Madhya Pradesh bypolls. The list of 30 star campaigners was released by the party on Saturday evening.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, party general secretary in-charge for MP, Mukul Wasnik, Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh and ex-chief minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan are among the others in the top 10 star campaigners of the party.
The party has also included both its Muslim MLAs including ex-minister Arif Aqeel and MLA Arif Masood, as well as spiritual leader Acharya Pramod Krishna in the list. Also several ex-ministers and Rajya Sabha members like Vivek Tankha and Rajmani Patel are part of the star campaigners’ list.
Sources in the party have said that while Rahul Gandhi might not actually come for campaigning, Priyanka Gandhi is likely to hold road shows in Gwalior-Chambal region as campaigning further picks up. Sachin Pilot is also expected to campaign in the region that is the stronghold of his friend and former colleague Jyotiraditya Scindia. Pilot’s inclusion as star campaigner has aroused interest because of his recent rebellion against the party.
52 promises in Congress 'Vachan Patra'
The Madhya Pradesh Congress also released its bypolls manifesto on Saturday naming it ‘Vachan Patra’ (promise document) as in 2018 assembly polls and making 52 promises to the people including pension to the families of COVID-19 victims, farm loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh, interest-free farm loan and others.
After releasing the 52-point manifesto at his official residence in Bhopal, ex-chief minister Kamal Nath said that the Congress government that got only 11.5 months of effective rule fulfilled 574 out of 974 promises made in the 2018 vachan patra.
“Let the BJP and Shivraj Singh Chouhan speak as much lies as possible, let them try to misdirect the people with issues like Pakistan and China, but the simple and straightforward people of Madhya Pradesh will not fall in their trap. This time people will not only turn away from Shivraj, but give him a slap in the bypolls,” Nath said.
Rajya Sabha member Digvijaya Singh, ex-union minister Suresh Pachauri, ex-ministers Sajjan Singh Verma and Jitu Patwari and other leaders were present on the occasion of release of the manifesto.
Earlier, the constituency-wise manifestos released by the Congress had landed in controversy as Congress ex-president Rahul Gandhi's photograph did not appear on the cover page. The comprehensive document released on Saturday has photographs of Rahul Gandhi as well as Priyanka Gandhi along with Sonia Gandhi and Kamal Nath.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has taken a jibe over the manifesto saying that none of the promises in the earlier vachan patra were fulfilled. “Promises are easily made as there is no intention to fulfill them. These promises are made to be forgotten. People know the reality of their promises,” Chouhan said. Home Minister Narottam Mishra termed the document as ‘kapat patra’ (deceit document).