New Delhi, May 2
Politics was always on Manoj Tiwary’s radar but in his mind, there was a sense of finality once he saw the plight of migrant labourers during the Covidinduced lockdown last year.
After deciding to take the plunge into politics, he was clear that he had to be in the corner of TMC’s Mamata Banerjee. Having won his first state Assembly elections from Shibpur constituency in West Bengal, Tiwary says he is focussing on his immediate task ahead.
“Effective Covid-19 management in my area, raising awareness and keeping the residents of my constituency safe. That’s my first job and its a challenge. But that’s what sport teaches us isn’t,” former India cricketer Tiwary said today.
As a player, Tiwary was never short of confidence and that’s why he was never unsure about his victory. “I was well prepared for this election and worked very hard to win blessing and mandate of people of my constituency. I knew politics is not an easy place and for a newcomer from a different sphere, it was all the more difficult. I had campaigned door to door in Shibpur locality, they know my intention,” he said.
Did he not think about the risk of losing an election when he had a secure career as a cricketer at the domestic level and was also doing well as a TV expert? “Yes, it was risky. I went against the tide when I took the decision because you can’t say no to Didi (Mamata Banerjee).
Didi has always been my inspiration. Every year on my birthday, I would receive a greeting card signed by her,” said Tiwary. “When I responded to Didi’s call, I had a knee injury and wasn’t playing Vijay Hazare Trophy. It would have taken four to five months to recover. I had to come to terms with IPL rejection and I had time at my disposal which I needed to use constructively,” he added. “Yes, BJP had approached me but when I saw the plight of migrant labourers who were left in the lurch by the sitting central government, joining them would be not being honest to my ideals and beliefs. I was devastated by what I saw. People dead on railway tracks. It was very difficult to accept that,” said Tiwary. Tiwary is hopeful that there might be some of cricket left in him.
“Manoj Tiwary hasn’t just been born to play cricket. Before I leave this world, I will do enough public service have to leave footprint as a people’s man,” he said. — PTI
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