Azharuddin to join Congress, will contest elections (Lead)January 20th, 2009 - 8:10 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin may join the Congress and contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.”The party’s general secretary in-charge of Andhra Pradesh Veerappa Moily has informed us that talks with him (Azharuddin) are on to induct him in the party,” union minister and senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes told reporters here.
However, the party is yet to disclose the seat from where he will contest.
“It is too early to comment on this (seat). We need to wait some more time,” Fernandes added.
Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh welcomed the move to induct the former Indian skipper into the party.
“We welcome Azharuddin. He has always been a fine cricketer,” Singh said.
Azharuddin had earlier denied reports of either joining or campaigning for the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections.
Those reports stemmed from an hour-long luncheon meeting the former captain had with TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao at the home of an Urdu newspaper editor.
Despite his premature exit from cricket following allegations of match fixing, Azharuddin still has a huge fan following in Hyderabad.
Last year, cricketer-turned-politician Dodda Ganesh and a close friend of Azhar — as the player is widely known — joined the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S).
It was Azharuddin who reportedly advised Ganesh to join the JD-S though he was being wooed by other national parties as well.
One of India’s most successful cricketers, Azharuddin’s innings came to an abrupt end after a disciplinary committee of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) imposed a life ban on him in December 2000.
Azharuddin challenged the ban in a court. The case is dragging on. He now runs a successful event management firm as well as a health club called Est.
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