The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) will be contesting elections in the state of Karnataka and in an effort to bring voters into their fold; the party wanted former India captains and former Karnataka players Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble to join the party.
It was felt that the former cricketers’ clean image and immense popularity would help the party in securing the young and urban voters of the state in the 12 May polls. BJP is looking to topple the Siddaramaiah led incumbent Congress regime.
There were several rounds of talks between the party and the two cricketers and there was even an offer to convince one of the two to fight the state assembly polls, while the other would be accommodated at the Centre.
However, it all came to nothing as the two players politely refused the offer, saying they didn’t want to jump into politics. “Talks are still on. At least one of them desires to be fielded for the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha. We have not lost all hope yet,” said the source.
Sources close to Kumble confirmed that the BJP had indeed approached him and Dravid to join, but both had said no.
In their post-cricket careers, Kumble has become a sports management businessman and a cricket administrator (having served as president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association), while Dravid has taken to coaching and mentoring, recently leading the India under-19 men’s team to World Cup glory.
(With inputs from theprint.in)