Uttar Pradesh being the most populated state in India, all political parties aim to form a government in the state. With Uttar Pradesh Assembly Election 2017 closing in all political parties are busy figuring out a strategy to form the next government in the state.
Congress Party after much deliberation today named movie actor and former Samajwadi Party member Raj Babbar as their Uttar Pradesh Chief. This is an interesting choice as many names were doing rounds for the post including that of former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.
What makes Raj Babbar's choice interesting:
It is being speculated that Priyanka Gandhi will have bigger role to play in the UP campaign now that Raj Babbar has been given the post of UP Chief.
Raj Babbar was a star campaigner in the recently held Assam Assembly Election and his campaigning didn't help Congress at all as Congress could not come to power in Assam despite having a government there for 15 years.
Raj Babbar has lot of political experience and he has been elected to Lok Sabha thrice and he has been elected to Rajya Sabha twice.
He had in 2009 Lok Sabha by election defeated Dimple Yadav wife of UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
However, in 2014 Lok Sabha election Raj Babbar has lost to BJP candidate General V K Singh. Raj Babbar had lost the Ghaziabad seat to General by a huge margin of 5.67 lakh votes.
Raj Babbar had entered politics by joining Janta Dal in 1989 and then he had joined Samajwadi Party and won Agra seat in 2004 Lok Sabha election.
He was thrown out of party after he questioned views of Amar Singh on privatising the airports.
Raj Babbar is a Punjabi and so had no influence on the caste or community equation in UP. The Congress party has taken care of balancing the caste and community equation by naming four state vice-presidents. The four vice-presidents in Up will be Rajesh Mishra, Rajaram Pal, Bhagwati Prasad Chaudhary and Imran Masood.
Recent controversies courted by Raj Babbar:
While defending the poverty line figures given by Planning Commission in 2013 he had infamously said this during a press conference: "People should have full meals two times a day. How one can have it is a very good question that you have asked. Even today in Mumbai city, I can have a full meal at Rs. 12. No not vada paav. So much of rice, daal and with that some vegetables are also mixed."
In 2013 itself he had compared Narendra Modi the then chief minister of Gujarat with German dictator Adolf Hitler. The comparison came in wake of Gujarat government opposing appointment of Lokayukta.