To pull in crowds, Parties look to star campaigners

Jan 18, 2012, 07:18 IST | Priyankka Deshpande

BJP, Congress to rope in national bigwigs, Sena hopes Balasaheb can make it, MNS relies on Raj

BJP, Congress to rope in national bigwigs, Sena hopes Balasaheb can make it, MNS relies on Raj

Political parties of all hues are desperately trying to rope in their respective star campaigners to woo the electorate in the run-up to the civic polls scheduled next month. In a bid to show their muscle power ahead of the polls, all major political parties have planned a series of rallies in the last leg of electioneering. And to pull in the crowds, the parties are banking on their respective star campaigners.

Star cast: Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray, MNS chief Raj
Thackeray, BJP MP Anurag Singh and Chief Minister Prithiviraj Chavan
are likely to participate in the electioneering. File Pics

The BJP has already started its electioneering by organising public rallies of its 'poster boy' and MP Anurag Thakur, while ally Shiv Sena is trying to cajole party supremo Bal Thackeray to hold a few rallies to boost the morale of party candidates.

And with only star campaigner to boast about, the MNS has also decided organise public rallies of party chief Raj Thackeray in the city. According to political observers, history has it the idea of roping in star campaigners to woo the voters has never worked in civic polls. But political parties seem to be caring little about the grim records. Shiv Sena city chief Nana Wadekar said, "This time we are trying hard to organise public meetings of party supremo Bal Thackeray. As he has decided to campaign in Mumbai and Thane for the upcoming civic elections, we hoping to get him here too."

He added that the party had approached Thackeray and he was likely to hold the rally in the last phase of campaigning. "Party executive president Uddhav Thackeray, head of Yuva Sena Aditya Thackeray and actor Aadesh Bandekar will also campaign for our candidates," said Wadekar. MNS leader Ajay Shinde said Raj Thackeray, along with wife Sharmila, is likely to campaign in the city. "We have urged Raj Saheb to spare time for at least four public meeting here. We are also planning to invite some Marathi stars like Bharat Jadhav who will pull the crowds," said Shinde.

At a time when all its rival parties are roping in their star campaigners for canvassing, how can the Congress lag behind? Besides state-level leaders, the party is also trying to invite Congress chief ministers from other states for campaigning.

"Along with the Maharashtra Chief Minister, his counterparts from Congress-ruled states are likely to participate in the canvassing to boost the confidence of candidates," said Congress MLC, Mohan Joshi. Taking a cue from the Congress, the BJP also plans to convince its national leaders to participate in the campaigning along with state-level leaders. "Since the opposition parties are roping in political heavy weights, it is essential
for us to rope in our star campaigners too," said a BJP insider.

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