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Karnataka elections 2023: Modi, Shah, Nadda named BJP's star campaigners

The list includes names of PM Modi, BJP President JP Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

Photo: PTI

Photo: PTI

BS Web Team New Delhi
As political parties gear up for the crucial Karnataka Assembly election on May 10, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its star campaigners for the upcoming polls.

The list of campaigners includes the names of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP President J P Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, among others.

On April 17, the party presented its third and final list of ten candidates for the upcoming elections. The party opted to field Mahesh Tenginakai from Hubli-Dharwad Central, a seat now held by veteran Jagadish Shettar, who joined the Congress after being rejected a ticket by the incumbent party.

The BJP has dropped its seasoned veteran Arvind Limbavali from the Mahadevapura constituency but has fielded his wife Manula Aravind Limbavali in an apparent attempt to appease him.

Other candidates on the third list include Sanjeev Aihole from Nagthan, Rajkumar Patil from Sedam, Manjula Amaresh from Koppal, Kalakappa Bandi from Ron, B Ramanna from Hagaribommanahalli, Katta Jagdish from Hebbal, Umesh Shetty from Govindraj Nagar, and Srivasta from Krishnaraja.

BJP released its first list of 189 names for the assembly polls only on April 11, long after Congress released its first list of candidates for the state polls. The party's second list of 23 candidates was out on April 12.

The first list included the name of Karnataka CM Basavraj Bommai, who will contest the poll from his stronghold of Shiggaon constituency. Yediyurappa's son BY Vijayendra, party's national general secretary CT Ravi, ministers R Ashoka and V Somanna have also been given the tickets.

The BJP has so far named 222 candidates for the May 10 polls for the 224-member assembly. The last date for filing nominations is April 20.

The southern state goes to the polls in a single phase on May 10. The counting of votes will be done on May 13.

All you need to know about star campaigners

A celebrity vote seeker in a party election is referred to as a star campaigner. This person could be a politician or even a movie star. There is no law that says who can or cannot be a star campaigner.

The star campaigners are nominated by the relevant political parties, which specify their constituencies and the duration of their status.

How many star campaigners a party can nominate?

Since political parties appoint star campaigners, the Election Commission has issued guidelines called the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) to govern their election campaigns.

While a recognised party, as declared by the Election Commission, can nominate up to 40 star campaigners, an unrecognised political party can nominate a maximum of 20 star campaigners.

Why do political parties require a star campaigner?

It has a lot to do with election spending. The Election Commission keeps track of individual candidates' campaign expenditures. In most states, each candidate spends Rs 70 lakh in one constituency.

The star campaigner's electioneering expenditure is not added to a candidate's poll expenditure, giving him/her more leeway. These costs will be borne by political parties, according to the Representation of the People Act.

What happens when the prime minister or former PM is the star campaigner?

According to MCC guidelines, when a prime minister or a former prime minister is a star campaigner, the government will bear the cost of security, including bullet-proof vehicles, and it will not be added to the party's or individual candidate's election expenses.

If another campaigner travels with the prime minister or a former minister, the individual candidate must bear 50 per cent of the security costs.

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First Published: Apr 19 2023 | 12:41 PM IST

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