After a campaign which ranged from intense to outrightly vicious, Gautam Gambhir, former India international cricketer emerged as winner in the Lok Sabha elections for the East Delhi constituency. Gambhir had been known for his forthright views on issues like patriotism and Kashmir and it came as no surprise when he joined the BJP and was made their candidate from his home town.
After the declaration of his victory, Gambhir took to his Twitter account and, apart from thanking the party workers and voters for their support, launched a scathing attack on Aam Aadmi Party and its leader Arvind Kejriwal.
"In these elections, Arvind Kejriwal has lost his conscience and honesty, in eight months, he will lose government (in Delhi) as well. As much mud as has been spread by AAP in Delhi, that much lotus will bloom," Gambhir wrote on his timeline.
The reference to 'conscience and honesty' may be in relation to a defamatory and obscene pamphlet that was distributed in certain parts of East Delhi constituency prior to election. It contained ugly language and slanderous comments about Gambhir's rival Atishi Marlena of AAP and her party blamed Gambhir directly for it.
The former cricketer responded angrily to these allegations and said that he would withdraw his nomination if he is proven to be connected in any way to the pamphlet. Gambhir also filed a defamation suit against AAP leaders.
But the member of India's 2011 World Cup winning team wasn't restricted to this angry pronunciation. Another one saw him punning on the name of his two main opponents – Marlena of AAP and Arvinder Singh Lovely of Congress.
"Neither it's a 'Lovely' cover drive and nor it is an 'Aatishi' (fiery) batting. It's just the BJP's 'Gambhir' (serious) ideology which people have supported. Thanks a lot to all the national BJP and Delhi BJP team-mates for getting this mandate. We won't fail people's choice," the former Test cricketer added.
The term of Delhi Assembly ends early in 2020. In 2015, AAP recorded a monumental victory by winning 67 out of 70 seats of the state Vidhan Sabha. BJP recovered its poise by recording a major win in the municipal elections of 2017. It would be interesting to see if Gambhir's name is thrown in the ring for the post of chief minister. In 2015, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi was the chief ministerial candidate for the saffron party.