There is nothing new about cricketers contesting elections in India, but in a first of sorts, former national football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has decided to throw his hat into the poll ring.
The iconic footballer’s name was in the list of candidates announced on Wednesday by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal. Bhutia will contest from Darjeeling constituency — a seat occupied by BJP’s Jaswant Singh.
Bhutia isn’t the only footballer to contest the polls this time. Former star Prasun Banerjee has also accepted an offer from the TMC and this is a unique occasion when two former national captains are fighting the poll battle under a common banner from the same State.
Commenting on his decision, Bhutia said he was not a politician but wanted to involve himself in the process. “People keep criticising politicians about what they fail to do. No one does anything about it. This is my way of contributing and involving myself in the process. I am completely new to politics and the one thing I can guarantee is that I will be completely sincere in my efforts,” Bhutia told Express.
He said it was too early to say what his plans were. “I don’t know yet exactly what I will do for football. But if elected, developing the game in this area will be one of my concerns,” he said.