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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 April 2024

BJP MP Gautam Gambhir asks party chief Nadda to relieve him of political duties

The parliamentarian from East Delhi also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for giving him an opportunity to serve the people

PTI New Delhi Published 02.03.24, 10:22 AM
Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir File picture

BJP Lok Sabha MP Gautam Gambhir on Saturday requested party president J P Nadda to relieve him of political duties so that he can focus on his upcoming cricket commitments.

The parliamentarian from East Delhi also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for giving him an opportunity to serve the people.

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"I have requested Hon'ble party president J P Nadda ji to relieve me of my political duties so that I can focus on my upcoming cricket commitments. I sincerely thank Hon'ble PM Narendra Modi ji and Home Minister Amit Shah ji for giving me the opportunity to serve the people. Jai Hind!," Gambhir said on X.

The move by Gambhir, a former team India cricketer, came amid buzz in the BJP circles about him being possibly replaced in the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency in the upcoming general elections.

The BJP has yet to announce tickets for the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi.

Names of several probables, including Delhi BJP chief Virendra Sachdeva, general secretary Harsh Malhotra and state treasurer Vishnu Mittal are making the rounds as contenders for the East Delhi seat.

People close to Gambhir said he was prepared to contest from the East Delhi seat this time too. However, the reason behind his sudden decision was not clear yet.

Sources claimed that Gambhir met BJP national general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh on Thursday and his X post on Saturday might be a fallout of that.

Hours before his sudden move, Gambhir shared on X a picture of the receipt for his donation to the BJP as his contribution to PM Modi's vision of building a 'Viksit Bharat' and urged all to join the drive.

Delhi BJP leaders, meanwhile, termed Gambhir a "reluctant" politician.

"He never really got into the swing of the things related to the party. Most of the time, he missed party programmes, meetings and important functions and it so appeared that cricket was still his primary focus," said a senior Delhi BJP leader.

The East Delhi MP was involved in a spat with Gandhi Nagar MLA Anil Bajpai over different issues. Moreover, Gambhir's relations with other leaders in his constituency were less than cordial, he claimed.

As an MP, Gambhir pursued with vigour his initiatives of running a community kitchen to provide free meals to the poor, opening libraries and focusing on the removal of the Ghazipur garbage dump.

To his credit, the East Delhi constituency represented by Gambhir gave the best results to the party in the 2020 Assembly polls and the MCD elections in 2022.

In the 2020 Assembly polls, the BJP won eight seats, three of which -- Gandhi Nagar, Vishwas Nagar and Laxmi Nagar -- were under the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. The party also won 21 of 36 wards in the Municipal Corporation of Delhi polls. It was the highest among the seven parliamentary constituencies in the city.

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