If reports are to be believed, ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to woo the voters by fielding superstar cricketers, MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir from Jharkhand and Delhi, respectively in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The BJP, who are seemingly going strong despite the growing criticism over increased fuel prices and falling rupee among other issues, are also set to announce the two superstar cricketers as their star campaigners across the country, according to The Sunday Guardian.
A senior BJP leader has told the news daily that the ruling party has been in talks with Dhoni over persuading him to join them and contest from a seat in Jharkhand, the World Cup-winning former captain's home state.
The party, according to the source, believes that Dhoni's popularity down south will also help them extend their base in the said region, especially in Tamil Nadu.
Notably, the 37-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman is the captain of Chennai Super Kings in the cash-rich Indian Premier League and the superstardom he enjoys in the AIADMK-ruled state is unparalleled.
The BJP has been reportedly trying to woo Rajinikanth for quite some time now even as the superstar actor has been working towards launching his own party in Tamil Nadu.
"Both players have wide acceptability, respect and credibility across the country and are regarded as leaders by all sections of society. They are not only leaders from their respective states but also leaders of the country," the news daily quoted the BJP source as saying.
"Dhoni is currently the captain of the Chennai Super Kings team playing at the IPL and thus has reach and mass base even in the southern parts of India. Both these players joining the party will be an asset for us."
Gambhir to replace Meenakshi Lekhi as BJP's candidate?
Meanwhile, Gambhir, a resident from Rajinder Nagar, is being looked at as a possible replacement to Member of Parliament from Delhi, Meenakshi Lekhi as people from her constituency aren't happy with her work.
"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," the source added.
"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."
Gambhir has been linked to the BJP often in the past. Known for expressing strong views about burning issues on social media and welfare work, the World Cup-winning opener may just provide the ruling party with the push they need in the capital, which is being governed by Aam Aadmi Party.
On the other hand, Dhoni has not retired yet from international cricket. The former captain is seemingly focused on the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which is likely to be held after the Lok Sabha elections, scheduled for April or May next year.