Unlike his famous cricket matches he won for India, Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi's electoral battle in 1991 from his home turf Bhopal proved his lone political test in his life. He could not taste success in the altogether a different field he ventured to enter.
He lost the elections because of adverse circumstances arising from Ram Janmbhoomi movement, which was at its peak, and polled second.
Pataudi chose not to stay put at the sticky wicket of politics and bade adieu to politics.
'I don't want know how to contest elections' was his humble reply to everyone from the Congress who would later request him to stay at the political pitch.
Pataudi, who fought the battle on the Congress ticket, polled 206738 votes (35.88%) against the BJP's Sushil Chandra Verma who secured 308946 votes. Thus, Verma got 53.61% votes to win the elections and nip in the bud his nearest rival's political ambitions.
In all, there were 36 candidates including Swami Agniwesh. Of the losers, except Pataudi all the candidates lost their deposits.
Pataudi and his wife cine actor Sharmila Tagore drew good crowds during their election campaign. He stayed here for over a month. Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and cricket World Cup winner team captain Kapildeo came down to Bhopal to canvass for him. But perhaps this proved too little for him.
"He was a non-political person. The results suggested that the massive crowds which gathered at the public meetings came to see the couple only. It did not covert into votes. The main reason behind his defeat was Ram Janmbhoomi movement. The Congress workers did not come out in a good number out of fear given the frenzy generated by the movement," said senior Congress leader Sajid Ali, who had actively campaigned for the party nominee then.
Another Congress leader Anand Taran said Nawab Pataudi accepted his defeat gracefully. "Pataudi had said perhaps due to lack of enough efforts, he lost the elections."