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‘Daughter of our own constituency’, ‘beta’: Punjab leaders exploit athletes’ Tokyo exploits

The official Twitter handle of Punjab BJP in a tweet in Punjabi congratulated “the citizens of entire India” as “Indian men hockey team entered semi-final in Olympics in Tokyo after 40 years”.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
Updated: August 3, 2021 1:08:39 pm
CM Amarinder Singh and Parkash Singh Badal watching the discuss thrower Kamalpreet Kaur in action. Kamalpreet hails from Kabarwala village in Muktsar, a Badals’ stronghold.

Political leaders in poll-bound Punjab are leaving no stone unturned to flaunt the feats of local sportspersons competing in the Tokyo Olympics.

Akali patriarch and five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, a nonagenarian who hasn’t been very politically active on the ground as of late, had called up the family members of discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur on July 31 as she qualified for the final.

Kamalpreet hails from Kabarwala village, a village in Muktsar, a Badals’ stronghold.

As senior Badal congratulated Kamalpreet’s family, the latter responded saying: “Bapu ji tuhanu mubarakan (Bapuji, we congratulate you). It was because of your blessings.” An ex-sarpanch of the village told the senior leader over the phone that “all credit goes to Badal and Shiromani Akali Dal”.

Parkash Badal’s son and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had on the same day tweeted a photo of the Akali patriarch watching Kamalpreet’s performance on TV and wrote: “Badal saab & I were thrilled to watch Kamalpreet Kaur qualifying for finals of discus throw early this morning with 64.00 throw at #TokyoOlympics. Congratulations & best wishes from all of us in Punjab!”

Ahead of the final on Monday, Sukhbir tweeted to wish Kamalpreet “all the best for her final”. “We are all going to watch your competition live today at 4:30 pm here and cheering for you! You’ve already made us proud. Just do your best,” he wrote.

Later in the day, he tweeted, with a picture of himself watching Kamalpreet compete: “Well done #KamalpreetKaur! You have made all Punjabis proud today. The fact that you competed in the discus throw finals in #Olympics is in itself a big achievement. You’ve set the bar high & have inspired many women to pursue their dreams.”

The SAD chief also spoke to Kamalpreet over a video call, telling her that her family was closely associated with senior Badal and that the latter had asked him to convey his best wishes to her for the final. Sukhbir told Kamalpreet that she was “the daughter of our own constituency Lambi and we are all praying for (her success)”.

On Sunday, Sukhbir had recalled his sporting days in Panjab University as he shared a new clipping dating back to April 23, 1983, on Twitter: “#TokyoOlympics brought back memories from my college days as a competitive trap and skeet shooter. Sharing a pic from All India North Zone Championship. Sports teach us so many crucial life lessons & skills. My utmost respect for all those representing #India…”

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh in a tweet ahead of the final said, “Best of luck to our discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur for her final. I will be watching your competition live today afternoon at 4:30 pm here. Do your best beta and make us all proud.”

Amarinder also praised the Indian women and men hockey teams for reaching the semi-finals as his tweets read “…Kudos to Gurjit Kaur from Amritsar who scored long goal of the match” and “Stellar performance by the Indian Men’s Hockey team at #TokyoOlympics to beat Great Britain by 3-1 & entering Olympic top 4 after 41 years. Happy to note that all 3 goals were scored by Punjab players Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh & Hardik Singh. Congratulation…go for gold!”

Hailing the Indian men’s hockey team, AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “What a historic moment! Indian hockey team dribbles their way into semifinals after 4 decades. Entire country is so proud.” In another tweet, in Hindi, he praised the Indian women hockey team for entering the semi-final and congratulated “all the countrymen”.

On Kamalpreet entering discus throw finals, Kejriwal tweeted “What an excellent performance. Congratulations to Kamalpreet Kaur for qualifying for the women’s discus throw finals in #TokyoOlympics. Wish you all the very best champion. India is proud of you. #Cheer4India”.

The official Twitter handle of Punjab BJP in a tweet in Punjabi congratulated “the citizens of entire India” as “Indian men hockey team entered semi-final in Olympics in Tokyo after 40 years”.

Meanwhile, newly appointed Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Navjot Singh Sidhu, a cricketer-turned-politician, did not post anything on the performance of local sportspersons in the Olympics.

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