Varun, Katiyar missing in UP star campaigners' list
BJP MP Varun Gandhi and its former Uttar Pradesh unit president Vinay Katiyar are missing from the party's list of star campaigners for the first two phases of the state assembly polls.
Names of BJP veterans like L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, who is a Lok Sabha member from the state, also do not figure in the list of 40 star campaigners, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party chief Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh besides a number of state leaders like Yogi Adityanath, Uma Bharti, Sanjeev Balyan and Kalraj Mishra.
Varun Gandhi's mother Maneka Gandhi is also among the star campaigners. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's name is not in the list. Varun Gandhi has enjoyed uneven relation with the party leadership while Katiyar, a key leader during the Ram temple movement, has been at the margins of state politics for long after once heading the party.
The other names include Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Smriti Irani, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Mahesh Sharma, LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan, a BJP ally, Hema Malini and V K Singh. The list also include names of Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
Swami Prasad Maurya, who left BSP to join BJP, has also been included among the key campaigners.