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Reddy refuses to deny or confirm Azhar being fielded against Owaisi

Thursday March 14, 2013 07:48:53 PM, IANS

Hyderabad: Amid speculation that Mohammed Azharuddin will take on MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi in Hyderabad Lok Sabha constituency in 2014, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Thursday said he would use the services of former Indian cricket captain wherever necessary.

Reddy, the former skipper of Azharuddin, neither confirmed nor denied reports that Congress would field him from Hyderabad to challenge Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) in its stronghold.

"Azharuddin is my good friend. We will use his services wherever we feel necessary," said the chief minister during a chat with media persons here.

After meeting Kiran Kumar Reddy in New Delhi last week, the MP from Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh said he was interested in the politics of his home state. "It is for the high command to decide," Azharuddin had quipped when asked if he would contest from Hyderabad on Congress ticket.

The Hyderabadi had joined Congress party before 2009 elections and was elected to Lok Sabha from Moradabad.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court in November last year had struck down the life-time ban imposed on Azharuddin by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on charges of match-fixing.

Facing a political challenge from MIM after the latter withdrew support dubbing him "communal", Kiran Kumar Reddy is reportedly planning to pit Azharuddin against Owaisi, whose family has been winning the Hyderabad seat for three decades.

Kiran Kumar Reddy and Azharuddin are good friends from their cricketing days at Hyderabad's Nizam College. Azharuddin played under the wicketkeeper batsman in various age groups between 1977 and early 1980s.

Replying to another query, the chief minister said MIM withdrew its support but the Congress still enjoys the support of minorities.





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