Delhi polls: Congress names Navjot Singh Sidhu as star campaigner

Sidhu was dropped as a Congress campaigner for the Haryana election last year.

NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former party chief Rahul Gandhi, general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh are among the party’s list of 40 star campaigners for the Delhi Assembly polls.

But the surprise on the list is Navjot Singh Sidhu, who has largely been away from active party politics since he quit the Punjab cabinet in July last year over sharp differences with Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.

Sidhu was dropped as a Congress campaigner for the Haryana election last year. The outspoken leader’s bonhomie with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan — Sidhu had attended his oath ceremony — became awkward for the Congress, with the Punjab CM complaining that he never asked for his permission to attend the event across the border. Photos of Sidhu hugging Pakistan army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa also embarrassed the party.

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as chief ministers of Congress-ruled states — Ashok Gehlot (Rajasthan), Kamal Nath (Madhya Pradesh), Bhupesh Baghel (Chhattisgarh) and V. Narayanasamy (Puducherry) — apart from the Punjab CM also figure in the Congress’ list of star campaigners that has been sent to the Election Commission by the party.

The Congress has announced names of 66 candidates for the election to the 70-member Delhi Assembly and it is likely to leave four seats for its ally RJD.

Congress’ Delhi unit chief Subhash Chopra, campaign committee chief Kirti Azad, AICC in-charge of Delhi P.C. Chacko and NSUI chief Neeraj Kundan, will also campaign for various candidates in the high-stakes poll battle. Polling will be held on February 8 for the 70-member Delhi Assembly.

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