Decks clear for Azharuddin's Congress entry | india | Hindustan Times
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Decks clear for Azharuddin's Congress entry

india Updated: Jan 22, 2009 20:28 IST
Ashok Das

Decks were cleared on Thursday for the induction of former Indian captain Mohd. Azharuddin to enter the Congress party.

The ace batsman, facing ban from cricket for the last eight years because of match-fixing scam, had a long meeting with the AICC general Secretary in-charge for Andhra Pradesh K Verrapa Moily in Hyderabad on Thursday. He also met Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhar Reddy and PCC president D Srinivas.

PCC general Secretary Nadenla Manohar confirmed to HT that the cricketer had a meeting with Moily and the two other leaders and the issue of his joining Congress was discussed. He said Moily will brief party president Sonia Gandhi on his return to Delhi and an announcement would be made thereafter.

Sources close to Azharuddin said that the formal announcement would be made in a day or two from New Delhi.

Only three days Azharuddin had denied his plan to join Congress. “There is no such plan, “ he had told a TV channel

Azharuddin had a meeting with Congress President Sonia Gandhi at New Delhi a fortnight back and had evinced interest in joining Congress and contesting election from his home city, Hyderabad. He is hoping that the Congress party will help him out by persuading the BCCI to reach an out of court settlement in regard to the match-fixing case, that too before the elections. Which will help him in salvaging his tainted image.

The Congress party sources said that he would be fielded from one of the four Lok Sabha seats falling under the Greater Hyderabad Metropolitan Area. The Party wants to capitalize on Azhruddin`s popularity among the youth to improve its prospects in all constituencies with high Muslim population.