Former Indian captain, Mohammad Azharuddin (above) was defeated by BJP’s Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria © Getty Images (File Photo)
New Delhi: May 16, 2014
It wasn’t exactly a happy day for sportspersons as three former India captains Mohammed Azharuddin, Bhaichung Bhutia and Dilip Tirkey suffered heavy defeats with Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s thumping victory being the only saving grace.
Celebrated double-trap shooter and BJP candidate Rathore humiliated high-profile Congressman and union minister CP Joshi with a winning margin of 3.32 lakh (3,32,896 votes) from the Jaipur-Rural constituency.
Former India cricket captain Azharuddin, a sitting Congress MP decided to contest from Tonk-Madhopur in Rajasthan but suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of BJP’s Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria by approx 1.35 lakh votes (1,35,311)
While Jaunapuria polled 5.48 lakh votes (548179), the Hyderabadi batting stylist could manage only 4.12 lakh votes (4,12,868). The most embarrassing defeat was former India football captain Bhutia, who was one of Trinamool Congress’ star candidate from the controversy-hit Darjeeling constituency lost to BJP’s SS Ahluwalia by a whopping 4.91 lakh votes (4,91,202).
The third high-profile candidate former India hockey captain and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) candidate from Sundergarh, Dilip Tirkey, lost by more than 70,000 (70,513) votes to his nearest rival Juel Oram of BJP.
However there was one lesser-known former India captain, who did win his second Lok Sabha election in less than 18 months. Former India and Mohun Bagan captain Prasun Banerjee retained his seat at Howrah constituency defeating CPI(M)’s Sridip Bhattacharya by a convincing 1.96 lakh (1,96,956) votes.
Another seasoned politician and current Lok Sabha MP Kirti Azad won from Darbhanga beating RJD’s Mohammed Ali Ashraf Fatmi by 1.67 lakh (1,67, 160) votes. Former India cricketer and Congress candidate Mohammed Kaif was also one of the worst performers from the prestigious Phulpur constituency in Uttar Pradesh (UP) where he came a distant fourth polling less than a lakh votes (58,127). The seat was won by Keshav Prasad Maurya of BJP who polled 5,03,564 votes.
Among the lesser known sportspersons and better known politician, Naveen Jindal of Congress lost to Rak Kumar Saini by 1.30 lakh votes in Kurukshetra. Jindal however came third with Balbir Saini of INLD coming