The speculations are finally over. The hero of India’s World Cup 2011 final, Gautam Gambhir has decided to step into the game of politics by throwing his hat into the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
Gambhir, a resident of Delhi, took a giant leap towards becoming a lawmaker as he is all set to contest from East Delhi constituency for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Gambhir, who bid adieu to cricket last year, will take on Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Aatishi Marlena and Congress’ Arvinder Singh Lovely in East Delhi. Given his popularity and clean image, it is expected that the former opening batsman will edge out his opponents with ease.
The 37-year-old performed a religious ceremony before filing his nomination form for the seat.
"My intention is right. I want to do something for the country and give back to society and whatever our PM has done in the last five years, I want to take that legacy forward,” said Gambhir in an interview with a news channel.
Earlier, there were speculations that the cricketer will be asked to contest from New Delhi seat which is currently held by Meenakshi Lekhi. However, BJP decided to continue with Lekhi, as Gambhir has been fielded for East Delhi.
Gambhir will replace East Delhi’s sitting MP, Maheish Girri who won the Lok Sabha seat in 2014 by a whopping margin of 1.90 lakh votes.
The two-time IPL winning captain of Kolkata Knight Riders joined BJP on March 22 in the presence of Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley and Law and Justice Minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad.
With his official admission in BJP, Gambhir joined the exclusive league of cricketers who opted to ply their trade in the field of politics. The likes of Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mohammad Azharuddin, Kirti Azad, Chetan Chauhan and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi have already contested Lok Sabha elections and paved the way for other cricketers' entry in politics.
Meanwhile, Gambhir became the second World Cup winning cricketer to contest Lok Sabha elections after Azad, who was in the World Cup 1983 winning squad.
On May 12, all seven constituencies of Delhi will go for the poll and the results will be announced on May 23. In the previous elections, BJP won all seven seats in Delhi.
In 2004 and 2009, the East Delhi seat was held by Sandeep Dikshit, the son of former Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit.
(Featured Image: Twitter/BJP Delhi)
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