After making a mark in athletics, London Olympic Games finalist Krishna Poonia is eyeing the political arena.
The discus thrower, who broke the country’s 52-year-old Commonwealth Games gold medal jinx in athletics by clinching the top spot in her event at the 2010 Games in Delhi, is likely to contest the Rajasthan Assembly elections in November on a Congress ticket. The party is considering her for the Sadulpur Assembly segment in Churu district.
It was the senior Congress leadership at the centre and chief minister Ashok Gehlot who encouraged Poonia to apply for a ticket from Sadulpur, where her husband and Dronacharya awardee Virender Poonia’s family hails from.
Poonia’s name has been forwarded to the district Congress committee and recommended for final selection.
After the CWG success, Poonia was appointed brand ambassador of the state election commission in 2011 and is also the face of the state health department’s ‘Save the Girl Child’ programme. Apart from this, she is also the brand ambassador of Hindustan Zinc’s initiative of educating girls in rural Rajasthan.
“Krishna is a popular sportsperson and has great following among the youth and women in the state and is also engaged in a number of social initiatives of the state government, so the party leadership wants her to contest the elections. On their advice she has applied for a ticket and her name has already been shortlisted,” said a senior state Congress leader.
Poonia, who belongs to Haryana, will have an added advantage as the Sadulpur constituency is close to the Haryana border. “Earlier, it was a choice between Churu and Sadulpur but after weighing all aspects, we settled for Sadulpur,” said the leader.
If Poonia contests the elections, she will become the country’s first sportsperson to enter politics while still being active in her discipline, as competing at the 2014 Commonwealth and Asian Games is part of her plan. “I am training for next year’s Asiad and CWG,” said Poonia.