NEW DELHI: Hardly six months after he hung up his cricketing boots after an 18-year domestic career for Bengal, Laxmi Ratan Shukla found himself on Friday being sworn in as part of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's new council of ministers.Laxmi Ratan Shukla wants to forget all about it as he begins a new innings, albeit on the political pitch.
Shukla, who had also played for Bengal this season, announced his retirement in not so happy circumstances, having relinquished his captaincy at the start of the season. He was, in fact, playing club cricket in CAB league when Banerjee told him that he has to fight the elections from Howrah, always a tricky area. He was given a ticket from Howrah North and rode the Trinamool Congress' (TMC) popularity to win the seat, polling 61,917 votes to beat Congress candidate Santosh Pathak and the BJP's Rupa Ganguly, a popular former actress. Such was Shukla's success that he defeated the Left Front-backed Pathak by a crushing 26,959 votes.