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Azharuddin joins Congress, may contest LS polls

Last updated on: February 19, 2009 18:51 IST

Former Indian cricket captain Mohammad Azharuddin formally joined the Congress party in New Delhi on Thursday.

When queried if he will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha election, he responded, "If the party thinks I am good enough (to contest elections) I will do so. As of now, I don't know anything."

He added, "I have always been an admirer of Congress, which fought for India's independence. I want to give something back to the nation by joining politics."

Moily told media persons that Azharuddin had sent feelers to Congress leaders in New Delhi and Hyderabad and expressed his desire to join the party.

"I spoke to the Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) and received her consent in the matter," said Moily.

During his interaction with the media, Azharuddin refused to answer any questions about the allegations pertaining to match fixing, which had plagued his cricketing career.

"There will always be people who will criticise you. What is gone is gone for good," he stated. On a more confident note, he added, "I will work as hard as possible -- like the way I worked to improve my batting," he said.

Moily pointed out that no cases are pending against Azharuddin in any court of law. On the contrary, he said, the former cricketer's case against the Board of Cricket Control of India is still pending in the high court. 

"Rajiv Gandhi, during his tenure as the prime minister, was the first person to call me up and congratulate me when the Indian team started winning," he added.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi