Cricketer-turned-politician Mohammad Azharuddin is keen to contest the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from his home state Telangana’s Secunderabad constituency, PTI reported on Sunday. He had earlier contested the last two Lok Sabha elections from Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Congress ticket. While he won from Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) in 2009, the former Indian captain lost in 2014 from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur (Rajasthan).
In an interview to PTI, Azhar said the final decision from where he would contest would be taken by the Congress high command, but he has conveyed his desire to fight from Secunderabad to the party.
On being asked why didn’t he contest from Secunderabad in previous elections, Azhar said he contested from Moradabad and then moved to Tonk as he was “not the sort of person who likes to play safe”. He added that he is keen to contest from Secunderabad as a lot of people have told him that he should fight from his own state this time.
“I have visited so many places and villages in the constituency and spoken with farmers and other people, they all welcomed me to contest from there,” he said.
“I have conveyed my feelings (to the party and the leaders in-charge of the state). At the end of the day, the party is the supreme power. I am not the captain (here), if I were the captain, I would have chosen the constituency right away,” the 55-year-old cricketer-turned-politician said.
On his chances of winning from Secunderabad, Azhar said he does not think of winning and losing as he was motivated by the opinion of the people. “I want to work for the people there (Secunderabad). I have worked very hard in the constituency, but I don’t believe in publicity,” said Azhar, who hails from Hyderabad, whose twin city is Secunderabad.
“What I gathered from my party is that, they are also keen that I go there (Secunderabad),” he said. The Congress’ Telangana unit last year had urged Azhar to contest either the state assembly polls or the Lok Sabha elections in 2019, from the state.
Asked what made him choose Congress when he took the plunge into politics, Azhar said, “I wanted to join the Congress as it is a secular party. Also, I had great respect for Mr Rajiv Gandhi.”