Patna, Oct. 18: Cadres would represent the Bihar BJP in the electioneering in Gujarat, as Narendra Modi has not included any senior leader from the Nitish Kumar-ruled state in his star campaigners’ list submitted to the Election Commission.
Taking into count the sizeable presence of Biharis in Surat and Vadodara, the central party leadership decided to draft in over 500 cadres from all the 243 Assembly constituencies and 38 districts of the state to do “poll duty” in Gujarat.
“The central party leadership has drawn up the list of over 500 party cadres from the grassroots to the state-level and has asked them to report to the BJP campaign committee’s office in Ahmedabad,” the BJP election management committee’s chairman and the party’s national executive member, R.K. Sinha, said.
Sinha, a party veteran from Bihar and scheduled to campaign in Gujarat, said the central leadership had deliberately kept the Bihar’s senior party leaders — identified with Nitish-led JD(U)-BJP alliance — away from the star campaigners’ list in “consultation” with Modi, the Gujarat chief minister.
Sources said deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, party spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad, Shahnawaz Hussain and Rajiv Pratap Rudy had been kept away from the campaign for two reasons. First, Modi does not wish to solicit the support of the leaders “soft” to his archrival, Nitish, who did not allow him to campaign in Bihar in successive elections. Second, the top party strategists feel that the Bihar stalwartsvirtually owe their position to the JD(U)-BJP alliance in their native state.