Dehradun: Filmstar-turned-politician Raj Babbar on Tuesday filed his nomination as the Congress candidate for the only vacant Rajya Sabha seat from Uttarakhand.
Babbar who beat stiff competition from the likes of former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and Pradesh Congress president Kishore Upadhyaya to emerge as the party high command's choice for the seat, filed his nomination at the Vidhan Sabha in the presence of a host of partymen including Chief Minister Harish Rawat and PCC chief Upadhyay.
Soon after filing his nomination, Babbar expressed his gratitude to the party high command as well as the state leadership of the party for reposing confidence in an ordinary party worker like him.
Asked what will be his priority as a member of the Upper House, Babbar said he will raise issues related to development in Uttarakhand which was yet to recover fully from the effects of the 2013 calamity.
"Development is a basic problem in the state. More so, as the process received a major setback in 2013 when a natural calamity undid all that had been done in terms of development in the state since its creation. So raising issues related to the state's development will be my priority," Babbar told reporters.
Babbar was announced the Congress's nominee for the seat late last night.
The seat fell vacant last month after the untimely demise of Manorama Sharma Dobariyal.
Today is the last day for filing of nominations for the seat scheduled to go to polls on March 20.
With BJP having decided not to field anyone, Babbar's unopposed election to the Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand is a foregone conclusion.
But technically he can be declared elected unopposed not before Mar 13 which is the last date for withdrawal of nominations.
Asked why the BJP had decided not to enter the fray, the party's media incharge Umesh Agarwal said, "Because the numbers are not on our side in the state assembly."
Congress has 33 MLAs of its own in the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly and also enjoys the support of the seven-member PDF.