Former India opener Gautam Gambhir may contest the 2020 assembly elections from Delhi as the reports of Delhi cricketer possibly joining the BJP gains momentum.
According to some media reports, the saffron party has approached the former Kolkata Knight Riders captain to formally join the party. In the event that Gambhir responds in affirmative, the BJP may field him as a candidate in the next assembly polls.
In the last assembly elections in February 2015, Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP had swept the polls by winning 67 out of 70 seats. However, in the subsequent bypolls, AAP lost one seat to the BJP’s ally, Akali Dal. The BJP is hoping to dislodge the Kejriwal government while riding piggyback on the anti-incumbency in 2020.
If indeed Gambhir joins the BJP, he will be following the precedence of several other formal cricketers, who’ve joined the electoral politics after quitting international cricket in the past. They are Chetan Chauhan, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Mohhamed Azharuddin, Mohammed Kaif, Kirti Azad, Vinod Kambli and Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi among others.
Gambhir has not played any international cricket for last two years. His performance in the IPL too has been abysmally poor. Soon after he left KKR to join his home team, Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, he had to quit the captaincy midway through the championship because of a series of defeat faced by his team.
Gambhir, known for his philanthropy, has also courted controversies for his tweets bordering the right-wing ideology. In April 2017, his dangerous definition of the three colours present in the Indian national flag had earned him the social media users’ wrath. One of his tweets had read, “Anti-Indians hav forgotten dat our flag also stands 4: saffron – fire of our anger, white – shroud for jihadis, green – hatred 4 terror. (sic)”
More recently, in April this year, an Australian blogger, Dennis Freedman, had controversially called him a ‘verbal terrorist.’ as he tweeted, “Gautam Gambhir is a verbal terrorist. The crap he said again today re relationship between India / Pakistan is dangerous.”