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The Turbanator in a spot

Bhajji angers Punjab Oppn by allegedly campaigning for an election candidate, reports Aasheesh Sharma.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2007 03:48 IST

When it comes to controversies, politics and cricket go hand in hand. Champion off spinner Harbhajan Singh has invited the opposition's ire in Punjab by allegedly campaigning for Jalandhar Central Congress candidate on Saturday.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP opposition says the cricketer is a government employee and is violating rules by doing this.

Harbhajan told the HT that the controversy has been blown out of proportion. "All I did was meet the Congress candidate, Tejinder Singh Bittu when he came to my place. The workers garlanded me and congratulated me on my good showing against West Indies. The moment I came out of home to see them off out of courtesy, press photographers clicked my pictures and misleading reports about my campaigning for the Congress were splashed.” The Jalandhar lad, who last incurred the wrath of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) for hurting Sikh sentiments by doing a liquor advertisement, says he has no political affiliations.

“I don’t belong to any political party. I have no intention of joining either the Congress or the opposition. Being a national cricketer, a number of politicians know and meet me."

Acting on a complaint by senior BJP leader, Jalandhar's Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer A Venu Prasad had sought an explanation from Bhajji. "Harbhajan has since denied the allegation that he campaigned for the Congress.He visited my residence and subsequently on Wednesday I have ordered an inquiry into the matter to be conducted by the additional deputy commissioner,” says Prasad.

Email Aasheesh Sharma: aasheeshsharma@hindustantimes.com