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    No stars to brighten up Cong campaign in TN?

    COIMBATORE: Believe it or not, political parties in Tamil Nadu including national, regional and letterhead outfits, have submi­tted a list of 340 ‘star campai­gners’ for the Assembly polls to the Election Commission. Strangely, the faction-ridden Congress has failed to mention a single VIP campai­gner, including Sonia Gandhi or Rahul, although sources in Delhi say the Congress scion will visit the state to support Youth Congress candidates.Of the ‘star campaigners’, less than 10 per cent have the power to influence the elector­ate. The rest are party cadre, perhaps listed to circumvent the EC’s expenditure curbs — expenses of stars campaigning on their own are exempt.The BJP, testing electoral waters alone knowing well it is a losing battle, has decided to pep up its campaign by drawing actor-leaders Hema Mali­ni, Smriti Irani and Kutti Padmini. The party’s star campaigners include L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Sushma Swaraj, Narendra Modi, B S Yeddyurappa, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitle­y and M M Joshi, in addition to local leaders L Ganesan and Pon Radhakrishnan.The DMK has five members of the Karunanidhi family on its list of 40 star campai­gners. Apart from the CM, M K Stalin, M K Alagiri, Dayanidhi Maran and Kanimozhi, the other family member is M K Tamizharasu, third son of Da­y­alu Ammal.Conspicuou­sly, Karunanidhi’s daughter Sel­vi, prominent among door-to-door campai­gners for him in his native Tiruvarur, does not figure in the list. Actors Khu­shboo, Vadivelu, Vagai Chand­rasekar, Kum­ari Muthu, Nap­olean (now Union Minister) and debater Dindigul Leoni are the other crowd pullers.The AIADMK’s star campaigners led by its general secretary J Jayalalithaa comprises among others senior leaders O Panneerselvam, Ponnaiyan, K A Sengottaiyan and comedian Senthil and actor Vidhya.