Azharuddin may contest from West Bengal


Hyderabad, March 7: Former Captain of Indian Cricket team and ex-MP Mohammed Azharuddin may contest from West Bengal in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

According to source, Azharuddin was called to New Delhi on Wednesday by Congress president Rahul Gandhi to elicit his views on the proposal. The Congress party is likely to have an alliance with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and Azharuddin is likely to be one of the candidates from West Bengal. Azharuddin has reportedly left the decision to the Congress president and expressed his will to contest from any seat which the party high command deems fit for him.

Azharuddin had joined the Congress party on February 19, 2009 and subsequently got elected from Moradabad Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pardesh. However, he lost the 2014 elections from Tonk-Madhopur in Rajasthan. He was not so active in politics after the 2014 elections and his participation in party programmes was minimal. However, he got back into action before the Assembly elections in Telangana in December 2014. He was also elevated to the post of Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Working President just a few days before the polls.

The Congress party was expected to field Azharuddin in the Assembly elections of 2018. However, the party reserved him for the Lok Sabha elections and is now considering his candidature from a seat in West Bengal. Since Azharuddin still enjoys the image of a successful captain of Indian cricket team, Congress party believes that the cricket-loving State of West Bengal would be an ideal place for him to contest the elections in the present scenario.

There were also speculations of Azharuddin contesting from Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat against MIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi. But the Congress High Command was opposed to the idea. AICC Secretary Madhu Yashki Goud has also proposed Azhar’s name from Nizamabad seat, which is presently represented by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha. However, other Congress leaders opposed it and instead, asked Madhu Yashki himself to contest from Nizamabad as he had represented it in Lok Sabha in 2004 and 2009.

Besides meeting Rahul Gandhi, Azharuddin also met AICC General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi in New Delhi.

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