Elections

BJP Drops Eknath Shinde, Ajit Pawar From Star Campaigners List In Maharashtra After CEO’s Letter

The BJP's move came days after the NCP (SP) had complained to the Election Commission regarding the list of campaigners of the Shiv Sena (Shinde faction) and the BJP in Maharashtra.

PTI
Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde (left) and Deputy CM Ajit Pawar (right) | Photo: PTI
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Ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the BJP has dropped Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar as its star campaigners in the state. The move came after a letter from the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) in Maharashtra said that star campaigners can only be from their party and leaders of other parties cannot feature on that list.

The BJP's move came days after the NCP (SP) had complained to the Election Commission regarding the list of campaigners of the Shiv Sena (Shinde faction) and the BJP.

The complaint stated that names of persons from other political parties were published as part of the list of star campaigners in violation of Section 77 of the Representation of the People Act.

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In his letter, the state CEO cited the Representation of the People Act, 1950, for star campaigners required to be from the same party.

Meanwhile, the BJP has submitted a revised list of 40-star campaigners led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Election Commission of India.

In a letter to Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar, the BJP’s National General Secretary, Arun Singh has reportedly said, “This list may be treated as valid for the remaining parliamentary constituencies figuring in Schedule 4 and 5 for the state of Maharashtra unless we forward an amended list for the remaining schedule within the prescribed time limit.”

Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra BJP had leaders from other parties on the list of star campaigners.

Shiv Sena's list had Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar as star campaigners.

While the state BJP list had Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Union Minister of State Ramdas Athawale.

On behalf of the BJP, National General Secretary Arun Singh had submitted a list of 40 leaders as star campaigners for the Maharashtra Lok Sabha elections on March 26, 2024 to the Election Commission.

Maharashtra is scheduled to vote in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in five phases from April 19 to May 20.

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