Rahul Gandhi to camapign for Raj Babbar | india | Hindustan Times
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Rahul Gandhi to camapign for Raj Babbar

The Congress has decided to throw all its weight behind film star turned politician Raj Babbar. AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has decided to campaign for him in the Firozabad Lok Sabha by-election, reports Umesh Raghuvanshi.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2009 02:08 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi

The Congress has decided to throw all its weight behind film star turned politician Raj Babbar. AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi has decided to campaign for him in the Firozabad Lok Sabha by-election.

“Rahul Gandhi will address a public meeting in Firozabad on October 30,” AICC Secretary Parvez Hashmi told Hindustan Times.

This is for the first time that Rahul has decided to campaign for a party candidate in any by-election (except Rae Bareli) in Uttar Pradesh. The main fight in the constituency is being seen between Raj Babbar and Dimple Yadav, daughter in law of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav. Her husband and Mulayam Singh Yadav's son Akhilesh Yadav is frequenting Firozabad to campaign.

“This is a prestigious by-election for us too,” said Hashmi. “AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh is reaching Firozabad to make preparations for Rahul’s visit,” said Hashmi, adding, “so far there is no programme to hold Rahul’s road show there.”

In the Lok Sabha polls, the Congress had not fielded any candidate against the Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav in Mainpuri and his son Akhilesh Yadav on Kannauj seat. The SP had reciprocated the gesture by not fielding any candidate against Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli and Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

Earlier Hashmi had to cut short his Lucknow visit to hand over a memorandum to Election Commission in New Delhi on Tuesday. “We requested the Election Commission to deploy para military forces in Firozabad and transfer officers working as agents of the Bahujan Samaj Party,” he said.

The Congress leaders have also been raising their voice against the presence of senior BSP ministers and the MLAs in the constituencies going for the by-poll. “About five to six ministers are camping in Jhansi campaigning for the BSP candidate,” said the Union Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain Aditya.

But resentment is brewing in among Congressmen over selection of candidates for some of the 11 assembly seats going for the by-election. Replying to a question Digvijay Singh however said there was no problem with the distribution of tickets. “We are taking the by-elections seriously,” he said.