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MCD campaign: BJP banks on stars, Congress on ministers

Delhi,Politics, Sat, 07 Apr 2012 IANS

New Delhi, April 7 (IANS) While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is set to campaign for the Delhi civic polls with some star members, including yesteryear Bollywood bigwigs, the Congress is banking on Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and its union ministers.


The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls, scheduled for April 15, are being projected as a semi-final for the assembly elections. The Congress and the BJP - the two major parties in the capital - are trying hard to woo voters by including important leaders and stars in the campaigning.


In a chat with IANS, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president J.P. Aggarwal said that unlike the BJP which has invited Hema Malini, Shatrughan Sinha and others for campaigning, the Congress will bank upon Dikshit and other senior party leaders.


"The BJP is desperate," said Aggarwal.


He said the Congress' union ministers like Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid will take part in electioneering. Congress MPs, including Mahabal Mishra, Sachin Pilot, J.P. Agarwal, Ajay Maken, Ramesh Kumar, Krishna Tirath and Sandeep Dikshit, are also expected to campaign.


Asked whether Rahul Gandhi would pitch in, Aggarwal said: "We have not received any direction on whether he will campaign."


Claiming to be the strongest party in the polls, he also said the Congress had given tickets to many young and talented candidates.


BJP state secretary Virender Juyaal said his party would rope in Bollywood actors-turned-politicians like Shatrughan Sinha, Hema Malini, Smriti Irani as well as former cricketer Navjot Singh Siddhu for campaigning.


"Sunday onwards, our party members Shatrughan Sinha, Hema Malini, Smriti irani and Navjot Siddhu, will be involved in the party's campaign," Juyaal told IANS.


There are 272 seats in the MCD, of which 172 are held by the BJP and 67 by the Congress.


This will be the first election to the trifurcated MCD. While the corporations of north and south Delhi will each have 104 wards, there will be 64 wards in east Delhi. Fifty percent of the seats have been reserved for women.


Close to one crore voters will be eligible to cast their ballots on election day.


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