Policy & Politics

Giantkiller: Political Rookie & WC Winner Yusuf Pathan Topples 5-Time MP Adhir Chowdhury

OB Bureau

Kolkata: When Trinamool Congress (TMC) roped in Yusuf Pathan from Gujarat to contest in the Baharampur Lok Sabha constituency in West Bengal, most political observers felt the former Team India allrounder was being ‘offered’ as a lamb to be slaughtered.

Pathan, after all, was a total political rookie and, more importantly, he was up against Congress heavyweight Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury – a five-time MP from Baharampur.

Yet, from the early rounds of counting itself, the 41-year-old two-time World Cup winner established a lead and kept consolidating his lead as the hours went by.

Ultimately, the 41-year-old Pathan, from Gujarat’s Vadodara, beat Adhir Ranjan by a convincing margin of 85,283 votes to emerge as one of the giantkillers of 2024 elections.

The soft-spoken Yusuf, who is Irfan Pathan’s elder brother, was humble in defeat.

“I am happy… I congratulate all of you who have been with me. It is not only my win but also of all the workers. I respect Adhir Ranjan a lot and will continue to do so,” Yusuf said.

On what he wants to do as an MP, Yusuf said he wishes to open a sports academy.

“I will make a sports academy first so that they can make a career. I will also work for industries. I will be living here and working for the people. I will also be in Gujarat as my family is there. I have got a new family in Baharampur. I spoke to Didi (Mamata Banerjee). They are all happy,” stated Yusuf.

Adhir Ranjan accepted defeat without making excuses.

“I congratulate Yusuf Pathan and wish him well… People’s mandate was against me, so I lost,” said the 68-year-old Adhir Ranjan who represented Baharampur since 1999 and also served as Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha.

He did, however, say that Congress may have been sandwiched between polarisation politics of BJP and Trinamool Congress.

OB Bureau

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