According to The Sunday Guardian report, the BJP is likely to give tickets to cricketers Gautam Gambhir and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the 2019 general elections. The BJP is in contact with both cricketers and is likely to field them from their respective states.
The Sunday Guardian report further claims that the BJP is likely to replace Meenakshi Lekhi with Gautam Gambhir in the New Delhi constituency. The party is not satisfied with Meenakshi Lekhi’s performance and in sync with its “Perform or Perish” policy wishes to give Gautam Gambhir a fair chance in 2019. The Sunday Guardian has quoted a BJP leader saying, “Reports from the ground about Meenakshi Lekhi are not good. People from her constituency are not happy with her work and the party leadership has decided that she will not be repeated this time as a candidate from New Delhi. Gautam Gambhir, in most likelihood, will be the party’s candidate from the same seat. He has wide acceptability and is known for his social work. He is a Delhiite and will do his best for the people of Delhi.” Gautam Gambhir had earlier campaigned for BJP candidate Arun Jaitley in Amritsar, back in 2014.
The report further claims that the party is in touch with MS Dhoni as well and is planning to give him an electoral ticket from his home state- Jharkhand. The party also wants to add the name of Dhoni and Gambhir in their star-campaigners list. The party wants to exploit staggering popularity these cricketers enjoy throughout the country.
The senior BJP leader quoted earlier said, “Both players have wide acceptability, respect and credibility across the country and are regarded as leaders by all sections of society. They are leaders not only of their respective states, but also of the country. Dhoni is currently the captain of the Chennai Super Kings team playing at the IPL (Indian Premier League) and thus has reach and mass base even in the southern parts of India, both players joining the party will be an asset for us.”
The BJP party clearly wants to cash on the popularity of these cricketers. They enjoy huge fan following and are very influential. Both cricketers are also engaged in doing social services. Gautam Gambhir extended support to martyr’s children.
“I picked up newspapers and saw gut-wrenching pictures of the daughters of 2 CRPF men killed in the latest attacks" https://t.co/nUlKnB5dwz
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 28, 2017
Gautam Gambhir to bear educational expenses of Sukma bravehearts' children
— ANI Digital (@ani_digital) April 28, 2017
Gautam Gambhir is a proud nationalist and supports army openly, something most celebrities refrain from doing. He also lambasted anti-nationals openly and takes a clear stand on issues of national relevance. He supported army after videos Kashmiri people beating Indian soldier went viral.
For every slap on my army's Jawan lay down at least a 100 jihadi lives. Whoever wants Azadi LEAVE NOW! Kashmir is ours. #kashmirbelongs2us
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 13, 2017
Anti-Indians hav forgotten dat our flag also stands 4: saffron – fire of our anger, white – shroud for jihadis, green – hatred 4 terror.
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) April 13, 2017
He also funded the Indian Ice Hockey team.
Gautam Gambhir donates ₹4.00 lacs ($ 6700) to the Ice Hockey Association of India to enable the team to participate in an Asian event. Great
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) April 15, 2015
He had also extended financial aid to ailing boxer Dingko Singh and also asked others to support the Indian boxing champion and Asian Games gold medallist.
Gautam Gambhir is also a popular role model for kids and has been seen doing his share for orphans.
Gautam Gambhir shares cricketing tips with orphanage children http://t.co/UXZIS4ywli
— CricketCountry (@cricket_country) February 3, 2014
In September, he wore a dupatta and a bindi to support transgenders. Earlier, he had posted pictures on twitter with transgender Ajna and Simran who had tied rakhis to the celebrity cricketer.
“It’s not about being a man or a woman. It’s about being a HUMAN.” With proud transgenders Abhina Aher and Simran Shaikh and their Rakhi love on my hand. I’ve accepted them as they are. Will you? #respecttransgenders pic.twitter.com/6gBOqXu6nj
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) August 25, 2018
Former Indian captain MS Dhoni also bats for social issues and actively pursues many philanthropist causes. Both cricketers look all set for a successful inning on the political pitch. Cricket and Politics have had a very close connection, many cricketers have successfully donned the Khadi after sweating it out in stadiums. Navjot Singh Sidhu, Kirti Azad, and Mohammad Azharuddin being the popular ones. If Gautam Gambhir and MS Dhoni also decide to enter politics, then they will enter the elite list of cricketers turned politicians.