Bengaluru: The Nationalist Congress Party led by Sharad Pawar has fielded nine candidates for the May 10 Karnataka assembly election.
Senior leader Ajit Pawar did not figure in the list of star campaigners released on Friday by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for the Karnataka Assembly elections.
The party has fielded Uttam Patil from Nippani assembly segment in Belagavi, a district with a dominant Marathi-speaking population. The NCP had actively participated in the agitation against the desecration of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in Nippani.
Earlier in the day, Pawar skipped the NCP's meeting in Mumbai as the speculation about his possible exit from the party refuses to die down.
It has fielded Masoor Saheb Bilagi from Devar Hippargi, Zameer Ahmad Inamdar (Baswan Bagewadi), Kulappa Chavan (Nagthan), R Hari (Yelburga), R Shankar (Ranebennur), K Suguna (Hagaribommanahalli), SYM Masood Foujdar (Virajpet) and Rehana Bano (Narsimharaja).
While Hari is the President of the NCP's Karnataka unit, Shankar, a BJP MLC, had quit the party after being denied ticket. He was elected as the lone MLA of KarnatakaPragnyavantha Janatha Party (KPJP) from the Ranebennur constituency in 2018, Shankar later joined the Congress and then jumped to the BJP.
Sources say NCP's decision to field candidates is seen as an attempt to regain the national party status. It had lost this status due to the waning political fortunes mainly in Goa, Meghalaya and Manipur.
The Congress is unhappy with the NCP making inroads into Karnataka as it might help the BJP. The electoral foray into the southern state comes when NCP supremo Sharad Pawar was trying hard to forge a unity of all the opposition parties for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
15-member list consists party's big names
The 15-member list of star campaigners included party chief Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule, Praful Patel, Shivajirao Garje, Clyde Crasto and R Hari.
Hari, who heads the party's Karnataka unit, would be fielded from Yelburga constituency.
BJP released its star campaigner's list earlier this week
Ahead of Karnataka Elections, all parties in fray are gearing up to give each other a tough fight. None of them are leaving any stone unturned to put their best foot forward.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which suffered setbacks with some heavy weights jumping the ship, has named other party heavyweights as their star campaigners. The list features Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and party president JP Nadda among others for the May 10 polls.
List of 40 star campaigners
The BJP released a list of 40-star campaigners on April 18 for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly elections for which the BJP has exerted full might to return to power.
The other big names from the Union government which will seek votes for the party in BJP's "gateway to the South" (Karnataka) include Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister Smriti Irani and others.
Union Ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya also feature in the list.
CM of BJP-ruled states to also campaign for the party
The chief ministers of BJP-ruled states including Karnataka's Basavaraj Bommai who is seeking a second term, Uttar Pradesh's Yogi Adityanath, Assam's Himanta Biswa Sarma, Madhya Pradesh's Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis will campaign for the party.
Tamil Nadu BJP president K Annamalai, former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, KS Eshwarappa who quit electoral politics also feature in the list.
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