Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday in the presence of Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. He is likely to contest from one of the seven Lok Sabha seats in New Delhi in the upcoming elections.
Arun Jaitley welcomed Gambhir to the party calling it an important induction. "We continue to be a cadre-based party and are expanding as a mass cadre-based party. We laterally induct people who have excelled in various fields. Gautam Gambhir is a Delhi boy. He was born here and has grown up here. The party will benefit from this joining," said Jaitley, reported Mumbai Mirror.
Gambhir said that he is joining BJP after getting influenced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision. "I am honoured to get the opportunity to join this platform," he said.
There were speculations of Gambhir joining politics as he has been frequently commenting on social and security issues. He earlier denied the political entry saying that it was a rumour.
On January 3, Gambhir had tweeted from his official handle saying, "There have been speculative stories that I am joining politics. Please allow me to clarify that there's no truth in this. At the moment, I am merely a retired cricketer who like all of you is waiting for India's series win in Australia."
The former cricketer resides in Delhi's Rajendra Nagar, a Lok Sabha constituency currently held by BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi.
Gambhir had announced his retirement from cricket in December 2018. He is the only Indian and one of four international cricketers to have scored hundreds in five consecutive Test matches.