The day after Mohammed Azharuddin won the election to become the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA), he called on TRS Working president KT Rama Rao. He also called on Telangana Education minister Sabitha Indra Reddy. Given that there was no photo-op with any senior Congress leader, this only sparked off speculation that Azhar could be TRS-bound.
“Not as of now,” said a TRS leader who accompanied Azhar to KTR’s office when asked if the former Congress MP from Moradabad was joining the TRS.
When pressed if it may happen later, the response was “Never know”. This cryptic reply was in sync with Azhar’s response to the same question after he won the election.
“I cannot say anything about it now,” Azhar had said. The fact that he did not say a categorical No, said its own story.
Not that Azhar has not been categorical before. There were rumours early this year that he was keen on getting the TRS ticket for the Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat. In January he had tweeted, “The news doing the rounds in the media of me joining the TRS party in Telangana is incorrect and false.”
Azhar was made the Telangana Congress Working President, an effort by the party to project a Muslim face in the state. That did not bear any result because Azhar has never been active in the politics of the state. Even in 2014, he had chosen to contest from Rajasthan, an election he lost.
G Vivek, whose panel was Azhar’s principal rival in the HCA election, had alleged that KTR had called many club secretaries to enlist support for the former India captain.
But even as much is being read into the courtesy call, officially it was only to request the Telangana’s government support to the HCA as the new President pads up to start his new innings.