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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cricket boss on BJP crease

The occasion was to celebrate the life of Madra Munda in Sutiambegarh. But, the function to unveil the statue of the first king of Chotanagpur, in the presence of another Munda, sparked off intense speculation on new political alignments.

Former chief minister Arjun Munda was accompanied on the dais by none other than Amitabh Choudhary, the Jharkhand State Cricket Association president who recently quit his job as a police officer to join active politics.

The Telegraph was blunt when it asked Choudhary whether his presence at Thursday’s function with Arjun Munda was indicative of a new-found proximity to the BJP. But the JSCA chief, credited with having pulled off the impossible task of gifting Ranchi with an international cricket stadium, was far from it.

Mein ishwar se prarthana karta hoon ki mujhe is kabil jald banaya jaye ki mein aise sawalon ka jawab de sakoon (I pray to the almighty to make me competent enough to answer such questions soon),” he said, indicating that even though he hadn’t become a full-fledged politician yet, he was well-versed in the art of speaking without saying too much.

Clad in jeans and a white T, Choudhary said, “I have never been artificial. I always tell what I feel is right. I had also come during the foundation laying ceremony of Madra Munda’s statue. Maharaja Madra Munda Sewa Sansthan president Veena Munda had ordered me to come at 6am, which I obeyed.”

Later, he explained his position.

“My resignation from the Indian Police Service has not yet been accepted. So long I am officially with the IPS, I cannot answer such questions (on joining BJP). But, I am likely to be formally relieved after a week or so. Then, I will speak freely on all issues,” he said.

Arjun Munda, too, was equally cagey, offering a mysterious smile when asked if the BJP would be fielding Choudhary for the Ranchi Lok Sabha seat. “I’d like you people to focus on Madra Munda. Today, we are also celebrating the birth anniversary of Ganga Narayan Singh, Barbil’s ruler, who laid down his life fighting against colonial tax,” he said.