Commonwealth Gold medalist-wrestler Babita Phogat and her father Mahavir Singh Phogat, who inspired Bollywood film Dangal, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in presence of Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju, party’s general secretary in-charge of Haryana Anil Jain and its state chief Subhash Badala on Monday.
Rijiju praised Babita Phogat for making the country proud by bagging medals at several international tournaments. Mahavir Phogat, who was the chief of the Jannayak Janata Party’s sports cell, switched sides from the JJP following a split in the Indian National Lok Dal. The development comes just two months before the Haryana Assembly elections. Babita Phogat is a winner of gold medal in 2014 Common Wealth Games, Glassgow, and silver medal in 2018 Goldcoast Australia, among others.
Talking to PTI before officially joining the saffron party, Mahavir Phogat said, “We are impressed with policies and programmes of the Narendra Modi government.” He hailed the Modi government’s move to revoke the Article 370 provisions. “Scrapping Article 370 and several other decisions taken in the national interest by the Central government have impressed me and millions of countrymen like me. We will be joining the BJP at a function in the national capital on Monday,” the Dronacharya awardee told PTI over the phone.
देश की आजादी देखने का मुझे सौभाग्य नहीं मिला, 🇮🇳
कश्मीर को 370 35A से मुक्ति मिल जाए यह मेरा परम सौभाग्य होगा
भारत माता की जय🇮🇳
— Babita Phogat (@BabitaPhogat) August 5, 2019
After the decision of doing away with the J&K’s special status, Babita too had showered praise on the BJP leadership. “This day will always be remembered. Salute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Jai Hind,” she had tweeted.
हरियाणा के मुख्यमंत्री मनोहर लाल खट्टर जी ने ऐसा कोई बयान नहीं दिया है जिससे हमारी बहन बेटियों के बारे में गलत बोला गया हो मेरी मीडिया से प्रार्थना है कि उनके बयान को गलत तरीके से जनता के सामने पेश ना करें @mlkhattar https://t.co/9nsSYPGRJd
— Babita Phogat (@BabitaPhogat) August 10, 2019
She had also defended Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar after he stoked a controversy with his “brides from Kashmir” remarks. “Manohar Lal Khattar ji has not made any such statement which portrays women wrongly and I urge the media not to distort his statement..,” she had said in another tweet.