From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sportspersons and TV stars, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi has decided to launch a high-voltage star-studded campaign for the upcoming municipal elections scheduled to be held on April 22.
The party has decided to rope in cricketer Shikhar Dhawan, wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat, actress Sweta Tiwari, some film directors along with some Mumbai-based talent hunters to shore up its fortune.
State BJP unit chief Manoj Tiwari said he will personally request the PM to boost the morale of party workers with his presence. “I will request Modiji to address at least one rally in the city,” he said.
The actor-turned -politician added that several notable personalities from various fields have expressed willingness to join the BJP and the party will engage them in the poll campaign in the national capital.
“These celebrities have inspirational stories to share. We can learn a lot from the struggles of Sweta Tiwari and Geeta and Babita Phogat. These stars are impressed with the policies and functioning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and want to become a part of the party. And I want them to tell their stories to the people,” Tiwari said.
Wrestlers Geeta and Babita Phogat were recently nominated as brand ambassadors of the BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation to promote Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. The two have also been promised jobs in the city’s education sector.
“This is our effort to promote talent in the city. We will take care of their needs. This will help our students to draw inspiration from them,” he said.
The party may also bring boxer Vijender Singh to Delhi for canvassing for them. Singh had earlier participated in the PM’s nationwide cleanliness campaign in 2014 along with Bollywood actor Aamir Khan.
“I will invite experts involved in talent hunt and promotion, film makers, and eminent personalities running professional institutions in Mumbai to come campaign for us. I believe Delhi is the goldmine of talent. The youth of Delhi will certainly benefit through them,” the BJP leader said.
Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken, on the other hand, said his party’s focus will be on basic issues and they will be relying on door to door campaigning. “Instead of star campaigner and celebrities, we will try to establish a connection with the people. We will heavily be depending on grassroots level workers,” he said.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said the BJP didn’t have faith in their candidates for the civic polls and was hence planning to involve ‘outsiders’. “It means they don’t have credible faces within the party and want celebrities and outsiders as their star campaigners. It’s similar to their decision to drop all sitting councillors, which is an admission of our repeated charges that BJP councillors indulged in rampant corruption,” said Dilip Pandey, convener, AAP (Delhi).