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Azharuddin may contest elections on Congress ticket


New Delhi : Former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin may join the Congress and contest the Lok Sabha elections on its ticket from his home state Andhra Pradesh.

“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,” Congress leader Oscar Fernandes told reporters.

However, the party is yet to decide on 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 dashing batsman 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 he had with TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

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).

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. He now runs a successful event management firm as well as a health club called Est.