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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Verma denies hijacking Sehwag

Verma denies hijacking Sehwag

Last updated on: April 26, 2004 19:16 IST

Union labour minister and Bhartiya Janata party candidate from outer Delhi Sahib Singh Verma denied having hijacked India's star batsman Virendra Sehwag from the Indira Gandhi international airport in New Delhi soon after the victorious Indian cricket team returned from Pakistan on April 17.

While hundreds of media persons were waiting to speak to the dashing opener, who scored 309 runs in the first Test at Multan, Verma took him from the VIP lounge through the backdoor.

"I have seen the media reports that I had hijacked Virendra Sehwag from the airport. When I went there to receive the Indian team along with my supporters I saw hundreds of people waiting outside to meet the Indian team. It would have been difficult for Sehwag to come out from the normal route. It was Sehwag who asked me for a lift back to his home in Najafgarh and I was too happy to oblige him," Verma told rediff.com on Sunday.

Verma refused to explain why it took him more then six hours to drop the cricketer home though his house is barely 35 kilometers from the international airport. He also refused to answer why he took Sehwag through the backdoor to the marriage pandal at 9 Ashoka Road on April 22 when media persons were waiting for the groom at the front gate.

Asked if Sehwag had agreed to campaign for the BJP in the elections, Verma said, "No."

"Right now he has just got married and I wish him a long and happy married life. It is time for him to enjoy and I have no intentions of playing spoilsport. I have been in touch with members of Sehwag's family and it was his father who had offered to canvas for the BJP and promised to bring his son along for the campaign. I did not ask Veeru to campaign for me at any point of time," Verma added.

Verma is facing Sajjan Kumar of the Congress party from outer Delhi, which has over 34 lakh voters.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi