NEW DELHI: The BJP on Thursday added some more star power to its line-up by inducting India’s former hockey captain Sandeep Singh and Olympian wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt in the party. With the BJP likely to unveil names of candidates for the Assembly elections in Haryana, the two sports icons are being seen as probable candidates.
The two were inducted into the BJP by the party’s Haryana unit chief Subhash Barala at a ceremony in the national capital where Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Balkaur Singh also joined the saffron party.
Sandeep Singh was described by the BJP as a hero on whose life a Hindi film has also been made. Sports icons are feted by the political parties in Haryana for their large following among youngsters.
Singh told reporters he had been following the BJP for a while. “I have been inspired by the leadership of PM Narendra Modi. I am also inspired by the works of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar,” he said.
Dutt, who is being seen a probable candidate from Sonepat Assembly seat, credited Prime Minister for his decision to join politics. Both the sports icons said they would like to contribute towards further expansion of sports in Haryana.
Upbeat in Haryana
The BJP remains upbeat in Haryana even while the Congress is seeking to consolidate the Jat-Dalit vote base in the state in the wake of split in the Indian National Lok Dal. The party claims that the Congress ranks remain too faction-ridden to pose any serious challenge to the BJP.
“In the last five years, the BJP government has shown that the party can work for all sections of society. We’ve given a transparent government without discriminating against any caste groups,” Barala said.
The Jat-Dalit vote base consolidation is being attempted by the Congress in the state with former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Kumari Selja in the saddle. The BJP is dismissive of such efforts.
“Congress will not succeed in caste politics. Several leaders in the Congress in the state cannot see eye to eye. Jats and Dalits have seen the good works of the BJP government in the state,” Barala said.