Talk that Anil Kumble, the former Indian captain, will contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha election from Karnataka has been making the rounds. Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa finds out if Kumble will indeed spin a political googly.
Will Anil Kumble, left, contest the Uttar Kannada seat in this summer's Lok Sabha election?
The state Bharatiya Janata Party has sent a list to the BJP's central leadership where another candidate -- Ananth Kumar Hegde -- has been proposed for the Uttar Kannada seat.
The state BJP also wants Ananth Kumar to contest the Bangalore South seat.
Kumble's name was once highlighted for the Bangalore South seat from where it is said Nandan Nilekani, the Infosys co-founder and the visionary for the Aadhar project, will be the Congress candidate.
BJP sources expressed surprise at Kumble's name making the rounds. "Where are these names cropping up from?" one BJP leader in Bengaluru asked this correspondent. "We proposed the names for the BJP's central leadership to clear."
A group, the NaMO Brigade, had proposed Kumble's name in an online campaign.
"They are enthusiastic youth, but need to root themselves in the party," one BJP leader from Karnataka said.
Former members of the NaMo Brigade feel the group is not on the right track.
"They are proposing names without taking anyone into consideration," one former member of the NaMo Brigade said. "The group was formed to carry out booth-level work and ensure voter registrations. The idea was also to popularise Narendra Modi's message."
While the names of Kumble and his former India team-mate Javagal Srinath have made the rounds, one state BJP leader said neither man has expressed interest in contesting the polls.
"There were many who were concerned with Ananth Kumar's name for the Bangalore South constituency," one BJP leader said. "He could face anti-incumbency and if Nilekani is pitched against him, it could make the going tough. However, on analysing trends, we are sure Ananth Kumar can win the seat. There is a huge Modi wave in the constituency."
In Uttar Kannada, Ananth Kumar Hegde is a winning prospect and no one in the party wants to change him, a Karnataka BJP leader pointed out.
Sometime ago, there was talk on the Internet that Srinath wanted to contest the election from Hassan on a BJP ticket, which Srinath denied.
Kumble was appointed a member of the Karnataka Wildlife Board when B S Yeddyurappa was the state chief minister.
State BJP leaders say Yeddyurappa has been convinced to contest the Lok Sabha election from Shimoga. The party has submitted a list of 21 candidates to be cleared by the BJP's central leadership.
The BJP currently has 18 Lok Sabha members from Karnataka.
D B Chandre Gowda, who held the Bangalore North Lok Sabha seat, may make way for R Ashok. Former chief minister Sadananda Gowda, who was eyeing this seat, has been told to contest the election from his old constituency, Udupi-Chickmagalur.
Among the Congress candidates are Union Minister M Veerappa Moily, Railway Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, Union Minister for Small and Micro Enterprises K H Muniyappa and former chief minister Dharam Singh.