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On a different pitch! Indian sportsmen who ventured into politics

mid-day looks at Indian sportsmen who have ventured into the electoral battlefield. While Parliament embraced most, for some it was a case of better luck next time!

Mohammad Azharuddin
Mohammad AzharuddinThe former India captain successfully contested the 2009 general elections on a Congress ticket from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh but this time he has been fielded from Tonk-Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan by his party.


Palwankar Baloo
Palwankar BalooThe left-arm spinner unsuccessfully contested a by-election for a seat in the Bombay Municipality in 1933. However, in 1937, the Congress turned to Baloo to oppose Ambedkar in a reserved seat in Bombay city. Baloo received 11,225 votes against Ambedkar's 13,245.


Fatehsingh Gaekwad
Fatehsingh GaekwadThe then titular Maharaja of Baroda was the first-ever Indian cricketer to have been elected to Parliament in 1957. The right-handed middle-order batsman, who represented Baroda for a decade in the Ranji Trophy, was a four-time Lok Sabha MP from Baroda and the President of the BCCI from 1963 to 1966.


Mohammad Kaif
Mohammad KaifThe former India middle-order batsman and a prolific fielder has been fielded by the Congress from Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh — a seat that was once represented by India's first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.


Vizzy (Maharajkumar Of Vizianagram)
Vizzy (Maharajkumar Of Vizianagram)Another former BCCI president and one of the most controversial and colourful characters in the history of Indian cricket was elected unopposed in the 1960 Lok Sabha by-election from Visakhapatnam. The captain of the controversial tour of England in 1936, won from the same constituency in 1962, again representing the ruling Congress.


Kirti Azad
Kirti AzadAnother cricketer and a member of India's 1983 World Cup winning team, followed his father Bhagwat Jha Azad's footsteps to get elected to Parliament. The former Bihar Chief Minister's son has been a two time sitting Lok Sabha MP from Darbhanga and is contesting this year as well. The BJP leader was earlier elected as an MLA from Delhi's Gole Market constituency.


Bhaichung Bhutia
Bhaichung BhutiaAnother former India captain and arguably the most iconic footballer in the country has been fielded by Mamata Banerjee as a Trinamool Congress candidate from West Bengal's Darjeeling constituency for the ongoing general elections.


Mak Pataudi
Mak PataudiOne of the greatest Indian cricket captains contested the general elections twice and lost on both occasions. In 1971, representing Vishal Haryana Party, he lost from Gurgaon while in the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, he was a Congress candidate from Bhopal but failed to win.


Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh SidhuThe funnyman of Indian cricket won on a BJP ticket from Amritsar in 2004 but after resigning due to a court case against him, he stood again after the ruling was stayed. He won a by-election from the same seat and retained it in 2009 general elections. Sidhu, however, will not be contesting this time.


Rajyvardhan S Rathore
Rajyvardhan S RathoreDouble trap silver medallist of the 2004 Athens Olympics is contesting this year's polls from the Jaipur Gramin constituency on a BJP ticket. The ace shooter had also fought the 1999 Kargil War as an officer of the Indian Army.


Chetan Chauhan
Chetan ChauhanChauhan may have failed to hit a single century in his entire Test career, but he scored victories in the parliamentary elections. Sunil Gavaskar's opening partner was a BJP MP from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh in 1991 and 1998. However, he ended up losing from the same constituency in 1996, 1999 and 2004.

...and the rest

Jaipal Munda (hockey)
Won from Ranchi in 1951

Aslam Sher Khan
MP from Betul, MP in 1991

Karni Singh (shooting)
MP on five occasions till 1977

Jyoti Sikdar (athletics)
Krishnanagar MP in 2004

Prasoon Banerjee (football)
Howrah MP 2013

Ranjib Biswal (cricket)
Jagatsinghpur MP in 1995

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