Cricketer-Turned-Politician Manoj Tiwary Ready For Tough Fight On A Different Pitch

Kolkata: Former Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary always gives it his all, there are no half measures. He has done so while playing cricket, he will continue likewise in politics, his new vocation.

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Known for his straightforward approach, Tiwary recently joined Trinamool Congress and has been rewarded with a nomination from the Shibpur constituency for the upcoming West Bengal assembly elections.

“After getting Didi’s (Mamata Banerjee) call, I did not think twice on joining politics. I respect her for the way she has been serving the people of Bengal. I could not have refused her,” said Tiwary.

“Cricket apart, I’ve been interested in politics, arts and cinema and politics. I have been very active in philanthropic work as well. So politics will help me do good for the society on a much larger scale. I needed a secular platform,” explained Tiwary, who was Bengal’s best batsman for several years and played a couple of ODIs for India too.

And he’s not afraid of facing the electorate or political rivals. “In cricket, I have learnt to play on tough pitches,” he said, adding that he is ready for a fight.

Tiwary was roped in by the TMC after another former Bengal captain and minister Laxmi Ratan Shukla resigned from the state cabinet. Both have their roots in Howrah, but Tiwary doesn’t want to go into any comparison.

“How the party is going to utilize my services, I have no idea. I will follow whatever the party decides. I will campaign hard to reach out to people and help the party form the next government. On the cricket pitch, I have always let my bat do the talking. In politics, I will let my work speak for me,” Tiwary promised.

He recently met RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, an old pal who had come to the state secretariat to pledge his support for Mamata Banerjee.

Tiwary has known Tejashwi since his playing days, when the son of former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had not entered politics and was a budding cricketer.

“My association with Tejashwi goes back to the time when he was a promising cricketer. He considers me to be his elder brother. When I was in the Delhi Daredevils team in 2008, he too was a member of the team,” recalled Tiwary.

The tables have turned now, with Tejashwi being the ‘senior’ politician.

“He is a full-time politician and I believe he will scale great heights,” Tiwary predicted.

So, will he take lessons from Tejashwi now?

“I’m always ready to learn from anyone, senior or junior. Tejashwi is clear in his mind and is honest in his approach,” Tiwary replied.

Also Read: Former Bengal Ranji Trophy Captain Manoj Tiwary Joins Trinamool Congress

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