Raj Babbar gets new role as UP Cong chief

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Ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh next year, the Congress on Tuesday appointed actor and senior party leader Raj Babbar as State party president, replacing Nirmal Khatri, who will now be chairman of the screening committee.
But the party failed to announce a Chief Ministerial candidate, saying a name would emerge during the campaign.
“We will announce our CM candidate when the campaigning begins,” said senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also the party in charge for the State.
Priyanka meets Azad
The announcement came at the end of a day in which Priyanka Gandhi Vadra — on whom there is great pressure to campaign across UP — met Azad at the latter’s residence. The hour-long meeting raised expectations that she had finally agreed to step outside the family bastions of Amethi and Rae Bareli. To a question on what transpired at the meeting, Azad was ambivalent: “The workers want Priyanka to campaign
across UP” He left it at that, refusing to spell out
anything further.
However, party sources said that the meeting
indicated that Vadra would play a larger role in Uttar Pradesh than she has in the past — its contours would be spelled out later. Tuesday’s announcements came after Azad met Congress President Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahu Gandhi. Babbar, who came into politics in 1989, when he joined VP Singh’s Janata Dal, later moved to the Samajwadi Party and finally the Congress in 2008.

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