Champion wrestler Babita Phogat and her father Mahavir Phogat joined the ruling BJP today ahead of polls this year in Haryana, their home state.
Babita Phogat, 29, a three-time Commonwealth gold and silver medalist, joined the BJP in the presence of Union Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju. She and her father inspired the 2016 Bollywood blockbuster "Dangal" starring Aamir Khan about Babita and her older sister making it big in the male-dominated world of wrestling, mentored and coached by their father.
The BJP expects its latest recruit to help the party in Haryana, where state elections are due this year.
Ms Phogat has been very supportive of the central government's policies, including the move to scrap special status for Jammu and Kashmir.
"I am a very big fan of Narendra Modi. I have been his fan since 2014. He has worked a lot for the country. I think everyone would like to join the BJP," Ms Phogat told reporters at the BJP office.
After the centre's Kashmir move last Monday, she had tweeted, "This day will always be remembered. Salute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. Jai Hind."
More recently, she also came out in support of Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar, who has provoked outrage with his comment that "some people are now saying as Kashmir is open, brides will be brought from there". The Chief Minister had referenced his party-ruled centre's decision to scrap special status to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 while speaking about the worrying gender ratio in his state.
"He has not made any statement that is offensive to our sisters and daughters. I urge the media not to misinterpret his statement," said Ms Phogat, according to news agency ANI.
Her father Mahavir Phogat, who has won the Dhronacharya award, has also joined the BJP. He had earlier joined the party of former chief minister OP Chautala's son Ajay Chautala.
BJP-ruled Haryana will vote for a new 90-member assembly later this year.
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