Dehradun, Mar 13: Congress leader Raj Babbar was today declared elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from the lone vacant Upper House seat from Uttarakhand.
Assembly Secretary Jagdish Chandra handed the certificate of unopposed election to the actor-turned-politician. A host of party leaders including Chief Minister Harish Rawat and PCC President Kishore Upadhyay were present at the occasion.
Babbar said he was grateful to AICC chief Sonia Gandhi, party vice president Rahul Gandhi, Chief Minister Rawat and the state party leadership for his election to the Upper House.
Babbar also said he bowed to the people of Devbhoomi and would try to rise to their expectations as an MP.
"I am not here to run away but to settle down among people of the state," he said in reaction to being branded as an "outsider". Babbar said he was an MP from united Uttar Pradesh and his association with Uttarakhand dates back many years when he visited the picturesque hill state for filmshoots.
Babbar's election was a foregone conclusion as there was no one else in the fray with main opposition BJP having decided not to field candidate.
However, technically, he could not have been declared elected before today which was the last day for withdrawal of nominations. Babbar emerged as the party's choice for the lone vacant Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarakhand despite stiff competition from the likes of former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and Pradesh Congress president Kishore Upadhyaya whose names had been doing the rounds as probable nominees. The seat had fallen vacant last month after the untimely demise of Manorama Sharma Dobariyal.