Sat, Oct 22, 2016 | updated 05:13 AM IST

'Dynamic' Priyanka will campaign for Congress in UP, says Raj Babbar

Updated: Aug 24, 2016 18:33 IST

Mumbai, Aug.24 (ANI): Actor-turned politican Raj Babbar has described Priyanka Vadra Gandhi as a dynamic personality who will actively campaign for the Congress party in the run-up to next year's assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

In his first interview as the president of the Uttar Pradesh unit of the Congress party, Rajya Member of Parliament Babbar told Jagdish Chandra, Head of ETV on the J C Show, "All members of the Gandhi family are on an equal platform. Priyanka Gandhi will campaign during the Uttar Pradesh election. I have appealed to Priyanka also. Priyanka has always worked for the party and there is a remarkable understanding between Rahul and Priyanka."

He further said that the Congress fight is not with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Samajwadi Party or the Bahujan Samaj Party, but against corruption.

He also claimed that former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati did not have the required public or party support to ensure her return to power. He added that as far as the BJP was concerned, the people of Uttar Pradesh were well informed about its brand of politics.

"Her close aides are quitting the party. She does not have public support. The people also understand the BJP's politics as seen on Dadri, Muzaffarbad and Kairana," Babbar told Chandra.

Asked what was his view on the Congress leadership roping in election specialist Prashant Kishore to strategise for the party ahead of the polls in Uttar Pradesh, Babbar said, "Prashant Kishore is not a cadre, but a strategist. The cadres are Congress workers. Kishore is an expert in his field and the party will benefit from his experience."

On his shift from acting to politics, Babbar said, "Mumbai gives a person a particular time period to every artist. I took what I got from the film industry and then moved on to doing social work which was an inner desire. I have been influenced by the ideologies of both (Mahatma) Gandhi and (Ram Manohar) Lohia from my college days."

He also described Samajwadi Party leader and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav as his political guru.

"Mulayam Singh brought me into active politics for which I will always be grateful. I have a lot of respect for him and have no differences with his family. Akhilesh is a nice person, but not a good chief minister. Currently, there are seven-and-a-half chief ministers ruling Uttar Pradesh, and there is no law and order in the state," he said.

He said that it is the goal of the Congress to have an alliance with the public.

"We are and will be attached with the people of Uttar Pradesh and the result of which can be seen from recent rallies," he told Chandra.

On the choice of Sheila Dikshit being named as the Congress party's chief ministerial candidate for the Uttar Pradesh elections, Babbar said, "The people of UP have seen what Shiela Dikshit's work in Delhi and now they benefit from her experience."

He said that he was confident that the next government in Uttar Pradesh would be led by Shiela Dikshit. (ANI)