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Gautam Gambhir joins BJP, likely to contest LS polls

NEW DELHI: Former international cricketer Gautam Gambhir Friday joined the BJP and is expected to be fielded in the Lok Sabha polls from one of the seats in the national capital.

The 37-year-old joined the party here in the presence of Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad.

The former opening batsman played a key role in India’s triumph in the 2011 World Cup and the 2007 T-20 World Cup. He was recently conferred upon the Padma Shri award.

Gambhir said he was impressed by the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and will work for the country’s welfare as a member of the party.

“I am joining this party influenced by our Prime Minister, his vision. I have done whatever I could in cricket, and this is a fabulous platform for me to do something really good for this country and take this party forward and make this country a better place to live,” he told reporters.

Jaitley, who described Gambhir’s joining as an “important induction” into the BJP, said the party will take a call at an appropriate time whether to field him in the Lok Sabha polls.

Sources in the BJP, however, said Gambhir may be fielded from the New Delhi constituency, currently represented by party’s Meenakshi Lekhi.

Jaitley noted that Gambhir grew up and studied in Delhi, highlighting his link with the city, and said the party will utilise his talent in a maximum way.

“The party has expanded a lot in past few decades and our speciality is being a cadre-based mass party where we also induct people who have achieved excellence in various fields. Gambhir has played cricket for years, he has been born and brought up in Delhi. We consider his induction into the party important and wish to utilise his talent and believe the party will benefit from his presence,” he said.

Gambhir also met party chief Amit Shah here.

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