The names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath figure in the list of 40 star campaigners of the BJP for the next month's Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, released on Friday.
The names of BJP chief J.P. Nadda, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Smriti Irani, Anurag Thakur, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Piyush Goyal, Narendra Singh Tomar, Bhupender Yadav, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Arjun Munda, among others, are also in the list.
It also includes Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, BJP leader Manoj Tiwari and MP Home Minister Narottam Mishra. However, the name of former MP chief minister and former Union minister Uma Bharti is missing from the list.
Many believe that Bharti had led the BJP to power in the state in 2003. Since then, the saffron party has been ruling the state, except for 15 months from December 2018 to March 2020 when the Congress government, led by Kamal Nath, was in power in the state.
Talking to reporters about her name missing from the star campaigners' list, Uma Bharti said in Tikamgarh district that she has given the power of attorney (to campaign) to MP CM Chouhan. "He (Chouhan) can use my services for the party if he wishes to," she said.
When asked whether she would contest the next year's Lok Sabha elections, the firebrand leader said this question should be asked to BJP chief Nadda.
Last year, Bharti had run a campaign against liquor shops in the state, creating an embarrassing situation for the BJP government. Sources in the BJP said almost all candidates of the party in the state have requested that PM Modi, Shah and Adityanath be sent to their constituencies to campaign for them.
Elections to the 230-member state assembly will be held on November 17.