Actor-turned-politician Raj Babbar was on Tuesday appointed as president of Uttar Pradesh Congress ahead of next year’s assembly polls in the state.
- Raj Babbar will head Congress’ state unit in UP
- Four senior vice presidents were also appointed
- One of the state VPs include Imran Masood
- Imran had courted controversy a few years ago with his hate speech
- He had ranted against BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi in 2014
The announcement of Babbar’s name as chief of the UP unit and those of his four deputies was made by party general secretaries Ghulam Nabi Azad and Janardan Dwivedi at a press conference at the AICC headquarters in Lucknow.
Babbar (64), born in Tundla near Agra in UP, belongs to the Viswabrahmin community which is considered an OBC. He has been a three-time Lok Sabha member and is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand. He was a Rajya Sabha member earlier also.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi has appointed Raj Babbar as new president of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee, along with four senior vice presidentsJanardan Dwivedi, Congress Gen Secy
The new senior vice presidents are Rajaram Pal, a member of a backward class, Rajesh Mishra, a Brahmin, and Bhagwati Prasad Chaudhary, a Dalit, besides Imran Masood, a minority.
The outgoing UP Congress chief Nirmal Khatra has been made the chairman of the state screening committee. Azad later said that Babbar is “above caste” and has cross-country appeal.
The announcement came after Azad met Sonia Gandhi this morning at her residence. Later, Priyanka Gandhi met him at his residence for over an hour, raising speculation over her assuming a bigger role in Uttar Pradesh ahead of polls.
Asked about Priyanka, Azad said that elections are still far away and have not been announced yet.
He, however, admitted that there have been demands from party members from the state that she should campaign for the party beyond Rae Bareli and Amethi.
Babbar’s political journey has been as varied as his acting career.
(Inputs from PTI)
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