<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress which is reaching out to OBCs through social coalitions in Gujarat in this assembly poll, has included young OBC leader from the state Alpesh Thakore in its list of start campaigners, which also has Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.Thakore’s name figures in the last of the 40-member star campaigner list.Thakore, who is founder of the OSS (OBC, SC and ST) Ekta March and is one of triumvirate with Patdiar leader Hardik Patel and Dalit leader Jignesh Mewani , joined Congress after meeting party Vice President Rahul Gandhi in New Deli in the last week of October.Congress has named Thakore a star campaigner apparently to blunt the BJP outreach to OBCs as the ruling party has made elaborate plans to rope in the community as a counter to Congress’ bid to wean away a chunk of Patel votes by siding with Hardik.Along with a host of senior Congress leaders from Centre and the state, the list also has Sam Pitroda, who had organised Rahul Gandhi’s US tour. Pitroda figures on number eight in the list of campaigners.Pitroda, who headed India’s National Knowledge Commission, and served as advisor to former prime minister Manmohan Singh on public information infrastructure and innovation, is currently the Chairman of Congress Overseas Department.Born to Gujarati parents Pitroda, who was a close aide of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, will travel a number of cities to campaign for Congress had early this month flagged his OBC origin in Gujarat saying “I am a Vishwakarma and the son of a carpenter. Reservation helps in uplifting those who are underprivileged, but that does not stop anyone from achieving his or her own goals.”Even in December 2011 ahead of UP assembly polls 2012, he had accompanied Rahul Gandhi in the Hindi heartland.Rahul had then, trying to reach out to Most Backward Classes, said, “Twenty years back Rajiv Gandhi thought of bringing mobile phones to India. Do you know who brought them? Sam Pitroda, who is a Vishkarma, “Barahi” (carpenter). He brought mobile phones to your houses.”The start campaigner list also includes names of film actress turned Congress leader Nagma and and cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, who left the BJP and joined Congress in January this year before Punjab elections and is a now a minister in Captain Amarinder Singh government.


Gujarat Elections 2017: List of Cong star campaigners indicate massive OBC outreach, Alpesh Thakore and Sam Pitroda included