News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  gplay  » Cricket » Cricketers Azad, Pathan bamboozle opponents at polls

Cricketers Azad, Pathan bamboozle opponents at polls

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 04, 2024 21:15 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

WC star Kirti Azad beats state BJP heavyweight Ghosh from Bardhaman-Durgapur constituency.

TMC's Kirti Azad with party chief Mamata Banerjee

IMAGE: TMC's Kirti Azad with party chief Mamata Banerjee. Photograph: Kind courtesy Kirti Azad/X

Cricket stars Kirti Azad and Yusuf Pathan turned out to be giant-slayers, while football great Prasun Banerjee held on to his political turf but a couple of others fell by the wayside on a mixed day for India's sporting heroes who tried their luck in the general elections.

Para-athlete Devendra Jhajhariya (BJP), who has two Paralympic gold medals in javelin throw, and legendary former hockey captain Dilip Tirkey (BJD) conceded defeats in their respective seats of Churu (Rajasthan) and Sundargarh (Odisha).


But Azad and Yusuf, both fighting on Trinamool Congress (TMC) tickets, stamped their authority in the political battleground by registering upset wins.

Another sporting stalwart fighting on a TMC ticket was former football captain Banerjee, who won by 1.69 lakh votes from Howrah (West Bengal). It would be his third consecutive term representing the constituency in Lok Sabha.

Azad, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning 'Kapil's Devils', made a strong political comeback beating West Bengal BJP heavyweight Dilip Ghosh from Bardhaman-Durgapur constituency.

He defeated former BJP state chief Ghosh, who represented Midnapore constituency in his previous term, by a margin of 1,37,981 votes.

It came as a rude shock for BJP as Ghosh had also served as one of the national vice-presidents of the party from 2021 till 2023 and was a vocal critic of Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress government in the state.

Azad, son of former Bihar Chief Minister Bhagwat Jha Azad, played seven Test matches and 25 One-Day Internationals for India between 1980 and 1986.

Azad is no novice to Indian politics. He was elected to Parliament for the first time from Darbhanga in Bihar in 1999. He was again elected to the Lok Sabha from Darbhanga for two consecutive terms in 2009 and 2014 on a BJP ticket.

TMC's Yusuf Pathan speaks to the media after his victory from the Behrampur constituency 

IMAGE: TMC's Yusuf Pathan speaks to the media after his victory from the Behrampur constituency. Photograph: ANI/X

Azad was suspended by the BJP in 2015 after he criticised the then Finance Minister the late Arun Jaitley over alleged corruption in the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA).

He unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Dhanbad on a Congress ticket before switching allegiance to Trinamool Congress in 2021.

Yusuf, who originally hails from Gujarat, also caused a major upset as he beat five-time Congress MP and incumbent leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in West Bengal's Bahrampur constituency by over 85,000 votes.

According to the Election Commission of India, Yusuf received 423,451 votes and won by a margin of 64,084. Meanwhile, Congress member Chowdhury got 359,367 votes. BJP candidate Dr Nirmal Kumar Saha was third with 323,685 votes.

"I congratulate all of you who have been with me. I am happy. It is not only my win but also of all the workers. Records are made to be broken. I respect Adhir Ranjan. I will continue to do so. I will make a sports academy first so that they can make a career. I will also work for industries. I will be living here and working for the people. I will also be in Gujarat as my family is there. I have got a new family in Baharampur. I talked to Didi (Mamata Banerjee). They are happy," Pathan said after his victory.

It was Yusuf's maiden foray into politics.

Yusuf was a part of the Indian team that won the inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup in South Africa and was also a member of the side that clinched the 2011 ODI World Cup at home.

Jhajharia, also a first-time contestant, lost by 72,737 votes to Congress' Rahul Kaswan from Rajasthan's Churu constituency.

Tirkey, who is currently the head of Hockey India, also tasted defeat from his native Sundargarh constituency against BJP heavyweight and former Union minister Jual Oram.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

Paris Olympics 2024

Paris Olympics 2024