Shashi Tharoor Opts Out Of Gujarat Campaign, Was Excluded From Key List

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Mr Tharoor was “never on the star campaigners’ list earlier”, party sources said.

New Delhi:

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has opted out of the party’s campaign in Gujarat for next month’s election, reportedly after being excluded from the list of the party’s star campaigners.

Shashi Tharoor was invited by the Congress’ student body to campaign in Gujarat, but he dropped out, sources said.

The Congress has denied sidelining Mr Tharoor, who ran for Congress president but predictably lost to the Gandhis-backed Mallikarjun Kharge.

Mr Tharoor was “never on the star campaigners’ list earlier”, party sources said.

New Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and his predecessors Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, are on the list of 40 star campaigners for Gujarat, which will vote on December 1 and 5.

Rahul Gandhi, who is leading the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra, has not campaigned either in Gujarat or Himachal Pradesh, which voted on November 12.

Ashok Gehlot and Bhupesh Baghel, the chief ministers of Congress-ruled Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, are also on the list.

The Congress’ campaign has been listless so far in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state, where the BJP has been in power for over 27 years. Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has campaigned aggressively to try and replace the Congress as the BJP’s main rival in the state.

The Congress has also included Kerala leader Ramesh Chennithala, former chief ministers Digvijaya Singh, Kamal Nath, Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Ashok Chavan in the campaign.

Rajasthan leader Sachin Pilot and Gujarat Congress leaders Jagdish Thakor, Sukhram Rathva, Bharatsinh Solanki, Arjun Mothvadia and Jignesh Mevani will also campaign.

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