Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif is making his political debut with the Lok Sabha elections on a Congress ticket. Kaif, who is contesting from Phulpur seat in Uttar Pradesh, says, “I’m here to play a Test match innings so as to connect with the people.”
Even though Kaif could not play much international cricket for India, he had some match-winning innings to his credit and aims for the same in his political career. He says, “It’s an honour for me to contest on a Congress ticket and make a difference in people’s lives.”
Kaif sounded confident of his victory from the Phulpur seat even though the Congress has failed to win the seat since 1984. The seat assumes significance as it was represented by former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1952. Kaif says, “People here are frustrated as there is no development and are looking for a change. And the Congress party is a combination of both the youth and development.”
Congress candidate Mohammed Kaif is contesting elections from Phulpur, a seat which the party has not won since 1984.
On his decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls, Kaif says, “I had an opportunity and it was the right time to do so.” Terming the elections as the biggest in India, he adds, “Since I was born and brought up in this area, it gives me an edge and I can easily connect with the people.”
Kaif, who joined the Congress even when there is a seemingly BJP wave, says, “There is a big difference in ground reality and what is being shown in media. The Congress is a secular party and it has proved its work. Just like the Indian cricket team, people from different religion are in the party.”
He adds that the Congress is the only party which is working for the youth of the country. “I am thankful to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul for giving me the opportunity. Rahul Gandhi can guide India in the right direction.”
Being a political debutante, Kaif faced many challenges while campaigning. He says, “Unlike cricket where one gets time to rest after playing a match, one has to work continuously in politics. It is a full time and door-to-door job.” He also plays cricket with the people as part of his campaign.
Kaif hopes to change the face of his constituency. Vouching for the sport, he says, “I will open International academies, stadiums, bring coaches and give all the facility to the youth.”