One of the three international sports stars the BJP has put its bet on in the upcoming Haryana Assembly elections, Yogeshwar Dutt exuded confidence that people’s blessings and initiatives of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past five years would see him and the saffron party winning from the Baroda constituency.
Yogeshwar, only the third Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal – a bronze at the 2012 London Games, said the BJP’s focus on nationalism and moves such as surgical strikes attracted him to join the saffron party which has always put the nation above all.
“Jeet pakki hai BJP ki iss baar. PM Modi’s policies and initiatives in the past 5 years for the country have impressed me. Their focus on nationalism and moves such as surgical strike have impressed me. For me, the country comes first and BJP is a party that has always put the country first,” the Olympic medallist said in an interview to indianexpress.com.
Dutt, who joined the BJP on September 30 along with former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh, identified water and lack of wrestling infrastructure as major issues in his constituency. Besides, Dutt, who quit wrestling last year, also aims to improve the standard of education in the Baroda constituency.
“The major issue in my constituency is of water. Stadiums are wearing off and players don’t have proper coaching facilities. Besides, the level of education here is quite low. Some villages also don’t have 24×7 electric supply as earlier governments have not given due attention to these pressing issues,” the 36-year-old former wrestler said.
In his successful career, Yogeshwar also won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games in 2014. Dutt called it a day to train his favorite student Bajrang Punia for the Olympics.
One of the major voices who protested against the Haryana government’s decision to reduce cash prizes for athletes who win medals at international tournaments, Dutt praised Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for steadfastly staying the sports policy.
“After the government mooted the proposal of cutting ad money, we spoke to the committee and that day itself the CM put a stay on the policy. Ab har games ke pure paise milege,” Dutt said.