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The 2019 Lok Sabha elections results are out and as most media houses had predicted, through public opinion and exit polls, the Bharatiya Janta Party has secured a landslide victory. The party has secured more than 350 seats and is set to return to power with a thumping victory. While the country saw candidates from various field stepping out of their comfort zone in a bid to serve the country, there were seven sportspersons who contested the elections.
Gautam GambhirFormer Indian opener and 2011 World Cup winner, Gautam Gambhir defeated Atishi Marlena (Aam Aadmi Party) and Arvinder Singh Lovely (Indian National Congress) to win the East Delhi seat by securing a total of 55.35% of the total votes. The debutant joined the Bharatiya Janta Party in March this year and sprung up a surprise by winning the seat that was considered to be an AAP stronghold.
Kirti AzadFormer cricketer turned politician Kirti Azad fought for the Dhanbad seat from the Indian National Congress. He lost the seat to BJP's Pashupati Nath Singh by a whopping 658,166 votes. The BJP candidate secured a total of 687,906 (61%) votes while Azad could only manage 297,407 (28.08 %) votes. Son of former Bihar Chief Minister, Bhagwat Jha Azad, he was a part of the Indian World Cup winning squad of 1983.
Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Krishna PooniaThe Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore clinched a convincing victory for the Jaipur Rural seat. He won a total of 811,626 (64.25%) votes. The 2004 Sydney Olympics silver medallist, Rajyavardhan Singh joined BJP in 2013 and has been an active politician since. Rathore served as a commissioned office in The Grenadiers regiment of the Indian Army before retiring as Colonel in 2013. The ace shooter also excelled in the field of sports. He has 25 international medals to his name at various championships for Double Trap Shooting. Another sportsperson, who was up against Rathore for the same seat, was the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Krishna Poonia. With a ticket from INC, the discus thrower finished second best in the race with a total of 422,223 (33.42%) votes. The Padma Shree awardee was elected as MLA in the Rajasthan state assembly for the 2018-2023 term.
Vijender SinghThe current WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight Champion and WBO Orienal Super Middleweight Champion, boxer Vijender Singh earned a ticket from INC and contested the elections for the South Delhi seat. He was up against BJP's Ramesh Bhiduri and AAP's Raghav Chadha. The boxer, however, finished third in the elections with a meagre total of 163,228 (13.58%) votes. Bidhuri won the seat with 679,402 (56.52%) votes.
Prasun BanerjeePrasun Banerjee, a retired international footballer and an Arjuna Award Winner (1979) from Kolkata is a TMC sitting Member of Parliament, who has made hat-trick of victories in Howrah seat. He had won Bypoll in 2013 and general elections in 2014. He was the first professional footballer to be a Member of Parliament, India (Lok Sabha). He win 574,289 (47.23%) votes defeating Rantidev Sengupta (Bharatiya Janta Party).
Kalyan ChaubeyFormer Indian goalkeeper, Kalyan Chaubey who played in the senior national team from 1999-2006, was in the fray as a BJP candidate from West Bengal’s Krishnanagar Lok Sabha constituency. This constituency had significant history in sports since in 2004, the people had elected a sportsperson – Asian Games double gold winner Jyotirmoyee Sikdar of the CPI-M. Kalyan lost closely to TMC candidate Mahua Moitra. The candidate from TMC won a total of 613,356 (45.09%) votes. The debutant in politics, Kalyan Chaubey managed 547,447 (40.25%) votes.