The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

March 21, 2009

Azharuddin to contest from Uttar Pradesh!

Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin who had recently joined the Congress party is likely to fight election from either Meerut or Moradabad in UP.

However, there is also speculation that he may be fielded from Tonk seat in Rajasthan. The central high-command is tight-lipped on the issue but it's clear that he would contest the election from North India rather than his home state.

The Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) chief Reeta Bahuguna Joshi on Friday said that UP Congress Committee had decided to field Azhar from either of the two constituencies.

Both the seats have strong Muslim population. Joshi was speaking to media persons in Lucknow. Meerut has 30% Muslims while the percentage of the community is even higher in Moradabad. Azhar hails from Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

But the Congress feels that as his appeal cuts across states and religions, he can fetch votes from all the communities and win a seat in UP where the party has failed to perform well over the last two decades.

Azhar was earlier keen on fighting from Nizamabad in AP. But now he will fight from UP and also campaign for the party to revive its chances in the state that sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha.

Though the 'tainted' former captain of Indian cricket team had been banned from international cricket due to his alleged involvement in match-fixing and the betting controversy, he faces no criminal charge.
TIH Bureau

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