Badminton star Saina Nehwal and her sister Chandranshu Nehwal joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday, ANI reported. BJP National Secretary Arun Singh welcomed the athlete in the party. She later met BJP President JP Nadda.
“Today, I am joining a party that performs well for the country,” Nehwal said. “Modi Ji has done so much for sports in India with initiatives like Khelo India. Looking forward to work hard for the country and the people.” Nehwal is likely to campaign for the party ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections on February 8.
Haryana-born Nehwal has won 24 international titles till now. She was world No. 2 in 2009 and No.1 in 2015. She has won medals at both the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games over the years.
Several sports persons had joined the BJP last year. Among them was former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who won from his East Delhi constituency in the Lok Sabha elections. Hockey player Sandeep Singh won on a BJP ticket from the Pehowa constituency in Kurukshetra in the Haryana Assembly elections later in the year.
In August, wrestler Babita Phogat and her father Mahavir Phogat joined the saffron party. In the Haryana elections, Babita Phogat contested from the Dadri Assembly seat but lost to Independent candidate Sombir Sangwan.
Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt also joined the BJP last year, but lost from the Baroda Assembly seat in the Haryana polls.
Nehwal has frequently posted tweets praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Last year, she was trolled on social media when one of her tweets praising Modi’s speech was found to be identical to many others.