Raj Babbar to take charge of UP Congress on Saturday

Newly-appointed Uttar Pradesh Congress president and Bollywood actor Raj Babbar would be coming here to take the charge of the state unit here on July 16. Mr Babbar, Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand, would be accompanied by All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and in-charge of UP Ghulam Nabi Azad. Party's media committee chairman Satyadeo Tripathi said here today that Mr Babbar and Mr Azad would reach Lucknow by serviceflight at 1200 hrs on Saturday and then will reach the state party headquarters at 1300 hrs. Mr Babbar would be staying in the state capital for 2 days.

On the route both the leaders would be accorded warm welcome at several places in the city. Meanwhile, a meeting of the senior Congress leaders have been convened here tomorrow to plan out the welcome programme of Mr Babbar. "We will erect more than 100 gates in the city on the road through which Mr Babbar will reach the party office from airport besides putting up hoardings in different parts of the state capital," said vice-chairman of the media Virendra Madan here.

Outgoing UPCC president Nirmal Khatri would be welcoming the new president at the state party office and will hand over the charge to him on July 16. Mr Babbar is already versed with Lucknow as he had contested the 2004 Lok Sabha election from Lucknow on an SP ticket against former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Born in Tundla near Agra in UP, Babbar (64) belongs to the OBCs community. He has been elected three times to Lok Sabha and is currently a Rajya Sabha member from Uttarakhand.

Mr Babbar had entered politics in 1989 as leader of the Janata Dal, led by the then prime minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh. Later he joined the Samajwadi Party in 1993 and elected to Rajya Sabha in 1994 as SP candidate. He was suspended from the SP following his differences with the then high profile general secretary of the party Amar Singh. Mr Babbar created history in October 2009 by defeating Dimple Yadav, wife of the chief minister Akhilesh Yadav from Firozabad Lok Sabha seat.

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