Virender Sehwag had declined that he was contesting elections even during the Lok Sabha 2014 election period. (Image credit: Twitter)
Virender Sehwag, the former India cricket team opener, has declined the BJP’s offer to contest the Lok Sabha election polls from Delhi citing personal reasons. Delhi will go to the polls on May 12 but Sehwag has declined the offer on personal grounds. This is not the first time that Sehwag has been linked to fighting elections in Delhi. In 2014, there was a rumour which floated around that Sehwag had decided to fight the elections and it led to him issuing a message on his official Twitter handle. In 2019, these rumours came up again when there were reports that he could fight the election on a BJP ticket from Rohtak, Haryana. Then as he had done in 2014, Sehwag once again stated concretely that nothing has changed in five years and that he is simply not interested in entering politics.
Speaking to PTI, a top unnamed BJP leader said Sehwag’s name was being considered for the West Delhi seat that is currently being held by BJP MP Parvesh Verma. However, the BJP leader said Sehwag’s opening partner, Gautam Gambhir, is planning on making a serious entry into politics.
“Gambhir has started attending meetings in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls. He attended one such meeting organised by a resident welfare association in Defence Colony earlier this week,” the BJP leader said. However, when PTI contacted Gambhir, he stated that his supposed entry into politics was also a ‘rumour’.
I m not contesting election, I don't know why media is running this story...— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 20, 2014
Gambhir, who retired from all forms of cricket during the Ranji Trophy encounter between Delhi and Hyderabad at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on December 2018, has apparently made a major political annuncement. According to sources, the left-handed batsman will apparently contest the New Delhi Lok Sabha seat on the BJP's ticket. Gambhir has been vocal on plenty of issues ever since his retirement and he lashed out at the separatists in Kashmir during the Pulwama Terror attack which killed 40 CRPF jawans.
During his final cricket match in the Ranji Trophy encounter against Andhra at the Feroz Shah Kotla in December 2018, Gambhir had said at that time. “Too straight forward a person to be in administration. I don't think people would accept me anywhere.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has recently lauded Gambhir for his contribution to the sport as well for his efforts to bring "positive difference in the lives of the lesser privileged". PM Modi made a special mention of the contribution made by Gambhir during India's triumphant campaign at the ICC World Twenty20 2007 and the ICC World Cup (50-over) in 2011.
"Let me begin by congratulating you for your stupendous contribution to Indian sports! India will always be grateful to you for your memorable performances, many of which resulted in historic victories for our nation," Modi wrote in the letter which was posted by Gambhir on his Twitter handle.
Recently, the Prime Minister tagged Sehwag on his Twitter handle urging him to spread the message among the people to vote actively in the 2019 elections.