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Politics | Azharuddin joins Congress party

Politics | Azharuddin joins Congress party
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First Published: Fri, Feb 20 2009. 12 45 AM IST
Updated: Fri, Feb 20 2009. 12 45 AM IST
New Delhi: Former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin, who was forced to quit the game following a match-fixing scandal nine years ago, joined the Congress party on Thursday.
Although there was no official confirmation, party leaders indicated that the cricketer is expected to contest the next Lok Sabha elections from Andhra Pradesh.
“I have always been a follower of the Congress party, which took the lead in India’s freedom struggle. I have been a great admirer of (former prime minister) Rajiv Gandhi also,” said Azharuddin, who was flanked by Congress general secretary M. Veerappa Moily and T. Srinivasan, Andhra Pradesh unit president of the party. He later met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence on 10 Janpath.
Azharuddin, 47, however, refused to give a clear answer to whether he would be a candidate in the Lok Sabha elections.
—Liz Mathew
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Congress says no plan for AIADMK alliance
New Delhi: The Congress party on Thursday asserted that its ties with Tamil Nadu’s ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is “strong” and there is no proposal to forge an alliance with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) led by former chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.
In response to Jayalalithaa’s call to snap ties with the DMK and join hands with her to win the upcoming elections, Congress general secretary M. Veerappa Moily said, “The Congress-DMK alliance is strong. The differences in the other smaller allies (in Tamil Nadu) are being bridged.” At a party function in Chennai, Jayalalithaa predicted doom for the DMK and advised the Congress: “Those who will come with us will gain and those who will not be with us will lose.” DMK and its allies, including the Congress, had won all 39 parliamentary seats in the 2004 polls.
Liz Mathew & PTI
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First Published: Fri, Feb 20 2009. 12 45 AM IST