The Congress released the list of its star campaigners ahead of the impending Delhi Assembly elections, however, excluded the big names from Maharashtra Congress. While the list included Maharashtra Cabinet Minister and state Congress chief Nitin Raut, it found no mention of Prithviraj Chavan and Ashok Chavan, the former Chief Ministers of Maharashtra. This comes after the high-drama that unfolded in Maharashtra Congress last month over the portfolio allocation in the Uddhav Thackeray-led government.
It was reported that Prithviraj Chavan chose to remain excluded from the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress Cabinet supposedly over portfolio allotment last month. The senior Congress leader had allegedly asked for a higher portfolio citing his political stature, however, he was refused by ally Shiv Sena. After being snubbed in Maharashtra, the grand old Congress party even failed to entrust a national role to the senior leader. Apart from Prithviraj Chavan, Maharashtra PWD Minister Ashok Chavan too found no place in the list.
Last week, Congress leader and now star campaigner for the Delhi assembly polls, Nitin Raut lashed out at Shiv Sena's Sanjay Raut over his claim that former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi used to visit underworld dons in Mumbai. In retaliation to the Shiv Sena leader, Nitin Raut had said, "Indira Gandhi was our leader. and is also our guiding force. To talk about such a senior leader in this manner will not be accepted by us at all. I know that Sena's Sanjay Raut was previously with the BJP and used to critise them during their alliance. But if they think that we will listen to them and stay quiet, then that will not be happening. We know how to hit back. If someone talks about our leaders in this way then well will not accept it any manner."
The list includes the name of 40 leaders including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former party chief Rahul Gandhi, General Secretary Priyanka Vadra Gandhi, and former PM Manmohan Singh. Congress has also roped in Chief Ministers from the states where it is in power. They are Madhya Pradesh CM Kamal Nath, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, Chattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel and Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot.
The Congress on Tuesday released its third list of five candidates for the February 8 Delhi assembly elections, fielding former Rajya Sabha member Parvez Hashmi from the Okhla constituency. Former Congress MLA Mukesh Sharma is the party's nominee from the Vikaspuri seat. The party has fielded Mohinder Chaudhary from the Mehrauli assembly seat, Parveen Rana from Bijwasan and Jai Prakash Panwar from the Madipur (SC) seat. The Congress has announced names of 66 candidates so far for the election to the 70-member Delhi assembly and it is likely to leave four seats for its ally RJD.
The list of the star campaigners of the Congress party comes a day after AAP convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal filed his papers on the last day of nominations for the Delhi assembly polls. On Monday, Arvind Kejriwal had missed filing his papers, as he was greeted by a massive crowd at his mega roadshow which began from Valmiki Mandir.