Election 2019: "Khiladi vs Khiladi": Olympian Krishna Poonia On Rajyavardhan Rathore

General Elections 2019: Both Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Krishna Poonia have represented India at the Olympics and entered politics in the same year - 2013.

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General Elections 2019: Krishna Poonia is the legislator from Rajasthan's Sadulpur.


Jaipur: 

Olympian Krishna Poonia, the Congress candidate who is pitted against another Olympian, the BJP's Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, in Jaipur Rural was confident of winning the seat in the fifth round of the national election.

While Mr Rathore - a union minister in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet - is banking on the Narendra Modi factor and highlighted national security as the key issue in his campaigns, Ms Poonia questioned works done by her BJP rival.

"Two Olympians are facing off. Apart from Olympics, today, we are in politics. This is the fight of truth and lie," she told NDTV.

"Modi factor was there in 2014. Many big promises were made. They should've told us what they did in five years. How long can votes be collected in Modi ji's name? What have you done for the country?" she said.

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Union minister and BJP candidiate Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and his family show their inked fingers after voting at a polling station. (PTI)

The seat, which Rajyavardhan Rathore won with a margin of 3.32 lakh votes in 2014, is dominated by the Jat community, a caste to which Krishna Poonia belongs. When asked if her caste was a factor in her being fielded by her party, she said, "Congress has never thought of giving tickets based on caste."

"We're both athletes. The party must've thought let's bring a khiladi (athlete) to take on a khiladi (athlete)," she added.

Both Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and Krishna Poonia have represented India at the Olympics and entered politics in the same year - 2013.

Krishna Poonia, 36, became the first Indian woman track-and-field athlete to win a gold medal at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games. She has participated in three Olympics and was also awarded the Padma Shri in 2011.

Mr Rathore, 49, is the sitting lawmaker in Jaipur Rural. "The Congress plays caste and divisive politics. At present, our opposition is with those who divide the country, who have always been associated with scams, people who are into dynasty politics," Mr Rathore outside a polling booth in Jaipur where he voted.

Krishna Poonia, who is originally from Haryana, won last year's Rajasthan assembly election from Sadulpur after a loss in the previous election.

Rajasthan has 25 parliamentary seats and 13 of them voted on April 29. Twelve seats are voting today, in the fifth phase of the election. Results will be declared on May 23.



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