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Bihar poll: Sonia and Lalu to campaign together
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | October 02, 2005 19:57 IST
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance is gearing up for a high voltage campaign in the coming Bihar assembly polls with Congress president Sonia Gandhi set to campaign with Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav this time.
This is going to be the first time when Sonia, Congress' star campaigner will jointly campaign with Lalu Yadav in any election in Bihar. Never before did they campaign together in Bihar, neither in last assembly polls early in 2005 nor in the parliamentary polls in 2004.
The Congress general secretary and incharge of party affairs in Bihar Digvijay Singh said that Sonia Gandhi, who is also chairperson of UPA, will campaign jointly with Lalu Yadav, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and Communist Party of India-Marxist leaders during polls.
"She will address two or three election meetings jointly with Lalu Yadav" he said.
Though Congress formally launched its campaign on Sunday, dozens of senior Congress leaders and youth of the party will join the campaign in coming days.
Sources in the Congress in Patna said the party will use services of old and experienced leaders and young and fresh faces for the nearly one-and-half-month campaign in Bihar.
Two Congress central ministers from Bihar Meira Kumar and Shakeel Ahmad and over two dozen senior party leaders, including Motilal Vohra, Shivraj Patil, Shankar Singh Vaghela, Subodh Kant Sahay, Sanjay Singh and Kamal Nath will take part in campaign.
The Congress will deploy over a dozen Muslim leaders include A R Antulay, Ahmad Patel, C K Jaffer Sharief, Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mohsina Kidwai and Salman Khursheed to convince Muslim voters to support the UPA to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance.
The party's Bollywood stars-turned-politicians likely to campaign in the Bihar poll include former member of Parliament Rajesh Khanna, MP Govinda, music director Bappi Lahri and actress Reena Roy.