Congress has released a list of 30 potential star campaigners for the upcoming assembly polls in West Bengal. The campaign includes Party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi, ex-PM Dr Manmohan Singh & party leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sachin Pilot, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Abhijit Mukherjee and Mohd Azharuddin.
Congress general secretary KC Venugopal, in his letter to the Election Commission, said that the following leaders of the Indian National Congress would be campaigning as per Section 77(1) of the Representation of People Act 1951, for the ensuing first phase of elections to the legislative assembly of West Bengal to be held on March 27.
Congress releases list of 30 star campaigners for West Bengal. Party’s interim chief Sonia Gandhi, ex-PM Dr Manmohan Singh & party leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sachin Pilot, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Abhijit Mukherjee and Mohd Azharuddin included.#WestBengalElections pic.twitter.com/3BuMssL0aw— ANI (@ANI) March 12, 2021
Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is among the list of star campaigners in West Bengal. Gandhi would perhaps try to lighten the intensifying political environment in Bengal with his inanities or by competing with people in push-ups on his campaign trail. He might even jump in the Hooghly river to flaunt his “six-pack” abs and commune with the local fishermen. There is an enduring doubt in some people’s mind over whether Rahul Gandhi is truly the star campaigner of the Congress party or the opposition parties.
it is also notable that after an extensive campaign against the left-front government in Kerala, Rahul Gandhi will appeal for votes for the Congress-left alliance in West Bengal. It is to to be seen whether he attacks incumbent chief minister Mamata Banerjee, as TMC is Congress ally at the national level.
Former PM Manmohan Singh, perhaps, would energise the Congress campaign by being himself, which is by being maintaining a stoic silence. Scam-tainted Mohd Azharuddin is also included in the list of the campaigners for the upcoming polls in West Bengal. As far as opinion polls go, Congress seems to be in a tricky situation in West Bengal and they might need the services of Azharduddin to ‘fix’ the issues plaguing them.
However, what is surprising is that the senior Congress leader Dr Udit Raj, who is projected by his followers as the next Congress President, has not made the cut.
Another highlight of the star campaigner list is the presence of Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu. It is, however, unclear how Sidhu, who fell from the grace after he visited Pakistan where he was seen posing alongside Khalistani terrorist Gopal Singh Chawla, would help revive Congress’ dying fortunes.
It is pertinent to note that though Rahul Gandhi keeps trotting out that India is no longer a democracy under the BJP rule, it seems like the Congress party has also ceased to be a democratic institution where dissenting voices are not honoured and respected. Not a single member of the G-23 leaders, who appealed for a complete overhaul and sweeping new reforms within the party, have been included in the list of 30-star campaigners.
Earlier, senior Congress leader Veerappa Moily even rubbished the existence of G-23, stating that the party is united under Sonia Gandhi’s leadership. “The Congress is one,” he said when asked about the difference of opinion within the party.
While Moily and other senior leaders have dismissed the existence of G-23, it is a loose coalition of a group of dissenters in the party who have been, time and again, calling for a complete revamp of the party. Even Ghulam Nabi Azad, one of the foremost Congress veteran, has not been included in the list of party’s star campaigners in West Bengal. Azad may have fallen out of favour with the Congress party and their feudal lords ‘The Gandhis’ after heaping effusive praises on PM Modi.