Azharuddin may contest from Bengal

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Azharuddin, who formally joined the Congress in February 2009, had contested from Moradabad in western Uttar Pradesh in the previous general elections, defeating his nearest rival Kunvar Sarvesh Kumar Singh by a margin of over 50,000 votes.

“Yes his candidature is being considered. It will be nice if Azhar contest from West Bengal. His presence will inspire our workers and supporters,” a Congress leader told, preferring not to be named as party is yet to take a final decision on this.

However, the former India captain, who has special ties with West Bengal and especially Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, has expressed his willingness to fight this year’s election from the eastern state.

“Yes, there is a bright possibility that I will be contesting this year’s Lok Sabha elections from a seat in West Bengal,” Azharuddin told media persons recently.

File Photo File Photo Azharuddin is known to be close to West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief and Minister of State (Railways) Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.

Asked about his preferred constituency, Azharuddin replied, “That decision will be taken by Shakeel Ahmed (Congress observer in West Bengal) and Adhir da. They will decide from which constituency I will contest.”

The former skipper had campaigned for Chowdhury during the last Lok Sabha elections and said he considered the minister as an “elder brother”.

Azharuddin’s inclination for West Bengal has got a lot to do with his association with the cricket crazy Kolkata. As a 21-year-old, he made his Test debut at the Eden Gardens and scored a century in his maiden appearance.

It was at the Eden that he had saved his captaincy with a match-winning knock of 182 against England in 1993. He also won the Hero Cup in the same year at this very venue.

The 51-year-old former captain pointed out that he has never returned empty-handed from Kolkata.

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