Former India opener Gautam Gambhir tasted political success in his first attempt by emerging victorious from East Delhi but there was no luck for Olympic medallist Vijender Singh even as sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore prevailed in the battle of Olympians in Jaipur Rural.
Contesting on a BJP ticket, Gambhir — a member of the 2011 World Cup winning team — secured close to seven lakh votes to easily defeat seasoned politician Arvinder Singh ‘Lovely’ from Congress and AAP’s Atishi Marlena, who has been credited of transforming Delhi’s health and education sector.
Congratulatory messages poured in for 37-year-old Gambhir from fellow cricketers on social media.
His former teamates Suresh Raina and VVS Laxman took lead by congratulating him on micro-blogging site Twitter.
“Many Congratulations @GautamGambhir on your victory. Wish you well always. May you serve people well,” tweeted Laxman.
“Congratulations @GautamGambhir brother,” wrote Raina.
World Championship bronze medallist Vijender, who quit his Haryana police job to contest on a Congress ticket, proved to be no match to eventual winner BJP’s Ramesh Bidhuri and AAP’s Raghav Chadha, who finished second.
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, the 2004 Athens Olympics silver medallist, defeated discus thrower Krishna Poonia, who fought on a Congress ticket.
Rathore polled more than 8 lakh votes while Poonia, who won gold at the 2010 CWG in Delhi and is a sitting MLA from Sadulpur constituency, managed over 4 lakh votes.
It remains to be seen if Rathore retains the Sports Ministry portfolio.
Kirti Azad, who switched allegiance to Congress, lost to BJP’s Pashupati Nath Singh by over 4 lakh votes from Dhanbad constituency in Jharkhand.