Raj Babbar named Congress pick for Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat - Hindustan Times
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Raj Babbar named Congress pick for Gurgaon Lok Sabha seat

Apr 30, 2024 11:52 PM IST

The Gurgaon constituency has 2,546,916 voters, of whom 1,347,521 are male, 1,199,317 are female and 78 are transgenders. According to the Congress, the seat has around 300,000 Punjabi voters — a community that Babbar belongs to

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The Congress on Tuesday announced that it will field former parliamentarian Raj Babbar from the Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)
The Congress on Tuesday announced that it will field former parliamentarian Raj Babbar from the Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The Congress on Tuesday announced that it will field former parliamentarian Raj Babbar from the Gurgaon Lok Sabha constituency. Babbar, an actor-turned-politician, is set to face off against Union minister Rao Inderjit Singh, the incumbent MP and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee for the seat.

The Jannayak Janta Party (JJP), meanwhile, has fielded rapper Rahul Yadav “Fazilpuria” from the constituency.

The Gurgaon constituency has 2,546,916 voters, of whom 1,347,521 are male, 1,199,317 are female and 78 are transgenders. According to the Congress, the seat has around 300,000 Punjabi voters — a community that Babbar belongs to.

Senior party leaders said that Babbar’s candidature was backed by former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. They said the fact that Babbar got the ticket underlines the clout that Hooda still commands in Haryana, a state where assembly polls are due later this year.

Party functionaries also noted that the Congress decision to field Yadav candidates in the 2014 and 2019 seats did not pay dividends, which is one of the reasons why the party decided to go for Babbar.

“The Congress in the past fielded local Yadav candidates from Gurgaon, but they could not make a dent against Singh. So, this time, we have brought a popular leader from the Punjabi community, who will get votes from them, from the traditional Yadav voters, and also from Muslims in Mewat, who are strong Congress supporters,” senior Congress leader and former Haryana minister Sukhbir Kataria said.

A section of Congress leaders, however, said that as an outsider, Babbar’s candidature will have a limited impact in the polls.

“I feel there is a conspiracy within the Congress to finish off senior party leaders in Haryana, who have given decades of their life fighting for the party,” said former minister and senior Congress leader Captain Ajay Singh Yadav, who was a strong contender for the Gurgaon seat.

The BJP too noted that Babbar is an outsider in Gurgaon. “We are seeking votes on our own work. However, Babbar being an outsider will definitely help BJP,” said Manish Mittal, the BJP in-charge for the Gurgaon seat.

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