BJP rolls out heavyweights for HP campaign

BJP rolls out heavyweights for HP campaign

The BJP has decided to roll out the party's heavyweights for campaigning for the Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, where it is hoping to defeat the ruling Congress party.

Four chief ministers and an array of Union ministers will hit the road for electioneering in the state besides Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah.

Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh), Yogi Adityanath (Uttar Pradesh), Trivendra Singh Rawat (Uttarakhand), M L Khattar (Haryana) and Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh figure in the list of star campaigners released by the BJP.

Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, J P Nadda, Smriti Irani, Thawarchand Gehlot, Uma Bharti, V K Singh and Vijay Sampla also figure in the list.

Former Himachal Pradesh chief ministers P K Dhumal and Shanta Kumar, Lok Sabha member Anurag Thakur, state BJP chief Satpal Singh 'Satti', former Bihar BJP president Mangal Pandey and Bhojpuri actor-turned-politician Manoj Tiwari will also campaign for the party in the hill state.

Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Rajasthan, Devendra Fadnavis and Vasundhara Raje, are conspicuous by their omission from the star campaigners' list.

With the Congress placing its bets on octogenarian Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, the BJP appears to have resisted from making a generational shift and is relying on the experience of two-time chief minister P K Dhumal.

The state's politics is dominated largely by upper castes — Rajputs and Brahmins — who together constitute more than 50% of Himachal Pradesh's population.

The state is also home to a large number of armed forces personnel.

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