The decision comes close in the heels of AAP’s successful Assembly election in Punjab, which saw Bhagwant Mann become the new Chief Minister of the state.
Earlier in the day, sources close to PTI had confirmed that the party’s top leadership, including the new CM, approached Harbhajan with an offer to become their nominated candidate for the next Rajya Sabha term.
AAP, after sweeping the polls in Punjab, formed the new government with Bhagwant Mann being sworn in as the Chief Minister on Wednesday. AAP would like to send an icon from the state to the Upper House of Parliament and one of the foremost names to have emerged is that of 41-year-old off-spinner.
”The top leadership of AAP, including the new CM has approached Harbhajan with an offer to become their nominated candidate for next Rajya Sabha term. The new CM wants Harbhajan to work towards lifting the standard of sports in the state, which has gone down considerably in past few years,” a source close to the cricketer told PTI on Wednesday on conditions of anonymity.
Harbhajan, who has taken over 700 wickets in an international career spanning over 18 years, recently retired from active sport.
”Harbhajan always had interested in working for people and especially for the benefit and betterment of sportspersons. If an opportunity arises, he would love to take up the responsibility as he has always shared cordial relationship with Bhagwant Mann,” the source added. Just before announcing his retirement, Harbhajan had gone to meet his former teammate and recently resigned Punjab state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and the picture of the two on twitter had led to speculations of him joining Congress.
However, back then in a conversation with PTI, he had categorically denied any inclination of joining the Congress party. Harbhajan has been associated with many philanthropic projects and social work in Punjab.