Cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir, named as the BJP candidate for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls from the vital East Delhi constituency, started his day with a prayer and pledge. The 37-year-old, known these days as one of the BJP's big-hitters on Twitter, sat down for an elaborate puja before filing his nomination.
"My intention is right. I want to do something for the country and give back to society and whatever our PM has done in the last five years, I want to take that legacy forward," he said, at a roadshow teeming with supporters, before filing his papers.
Mr Gambhir has replaced Maheish Girri as the BJP candidate from East Delhi, lining up a clash with Arvinder Singh Lovely of the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) star candidate Atishi. Mr Girri had defeated Aam Aadmi Party leader Rajmohan Gandhi by more than 190,400 votes to win the seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
The constituency along with six others in the capital will vote on May 12. Results are expected on May 23.
A veteran of 58 Tests and 147 one-day internationals, Gautam Gambhir was a key member of the Indian teams that won the T20 World Cup in 2007 and the One-Day International World Cup in 2011.
The former India opening batsman retired from cricket in December after a 15-year stint. He runs a community kitchen, besides appearing as a commentator.
He was inducted into the BJP exactly a month ago, joining a league of more cricketers-turned-politicians like Kirti Azad, Mohammad Azharuddin, Navjot Sidhu and Mohammad Kaif.
A vocal ambassador of the party on Twitter, his social media posts with strong comments on contemporary politics and incidents had inspired talk about his diving into politics.
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