New Delhi: With Irfan Pathan joining Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi at his election rally in Kheda, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad on Wednesday said there is nothing wrong in a cricketer campaigning for any political outfit or leader.
The former cricketer said Pathan had joined Modi at his campaign rally in his individual capacity.
"My father was a minister, he was a Congressman. I used to be sitting with him. What is wrong?" Azad asked.
"When I was playing first-class cricket, I was in politics. I was an elected MLA from Delhi. So, I think that is not the point. I think let us not go into personal issues. If you are talking about national issues, then we should talk about national issues and not get personal with anybody," he added.
Azad, who played for India in seven Tests and 25 ODIs from 1980 to 1986, further said Pathan is not a government employee, but an independent individual and can ask votes for anybody.
In a surprise move, Pathan, who belongs to Vadodara, today joined Modi at his election rally in Kheda.
Pathan, who has been out of cricketing action for some time now following an injury, shared the stage with Modi at the rally.
Modi, who is looking at a third consecutive term at the helm in Gujarat, has very often been accused by social activists and other political rivals of being biased against the minorities.
Moreover, Modi has also been under sharp criticism over the 2002 Gujarat riots.
Pathan's presence at Modi's campaign rally has further given a boost to the ruling BJP Government in the state ahead of the polls.
Gujarat will go to the polls in two phases on December 13 and 17. The counting of votes will take place on December 20. (ANI)