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Friday, Aug 16, 2019

Wrestler Babita Phogat, father join BJP ahead of Haryana polls

They joined the BJP in the presence of Union sports and youth affairs minister Kiren Rijiju, party’s general secretary in-charge of Haryana Anil Jain and its state chief Subhash Badala.

india Updated: Aug 12, 2019 16:37 IST
Kumar Uttam
Kumar Uttam
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Wrestler Babita Phogat, father join BJP in the presence of Union sports and youth affairs minister Kiren Rijiju, party’s general secretary in-charge of Haryana Anil Jain and its state chief Subhash Badala.
Wrestler Babita Phogat, father join BJP in the presence of Union sports and youth affairs minister Kiren Rijiju, party’s general secretary in-charge of Haryana Anil Jain and its state chief Subhash Badala.(Twitter/@ANI)
         

International wrestler Babita Phogat and her father Mahavir Phogat, whose family inspired the Aamir Khan-starrer Bollywood film ‘Dangal’, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday, ahead of the assembly election in their home state of Haryana.

They joined the BJP in the presence of Union sports and youth affairs minister Kiren Rijiju, party’s general secretary in-charge of Haryana Anil Jain and its state chief Subhash Badala.

Lauding the father-daughter duo, Rijiju said Babita has brought laurels to the country by bagging medals at several international events. The BJP believes that the induction of the Phogats into the party will help it politically in the poll-bound Haryana. Assembly elections are due in the state later this year.

Watch: Wrestler & inspiration behind ‘Dangal’ Babita Phogat & father join BJP 

Mahavir Phogat had joined Jannayak Janata Party founded by Ajay Chautala, the jailed elder son of former chief minister OP Chautala, ahead of the national elections this year. He was made chief of the party’s sports cell. But the party ticket that the family had expected didn’t come.

An Arjuna awardee, Babita won a silver medal at Commonwealth Games in New Delhi in 2010 and a gold medal in the same event at Glasgow. She won a bronze medal at 2012 world championship.

The 29-year-old Babita’s family came to be known nationwide following the success of Dangal, which is loosely based on the lives of Phogat sisters, all of them wrestlers, and their father who coached them against all odds.

Mahavir Phogat is a Dronacharya awardee and Aamir Khan played his role in the movie Dangal. A book titled Akhara also has been published on him.

Babita had sued the Haryana government for not upgrading her as the deputy superintendent of police despite the many medals that she had won. She was a sub-inspector. But she lost the case in June this year and later, according to her family, has resigned from service.

The Phogat family is from Balali village of Dadri and there is speculation that the family expects Babita to be fielded from either Badhra or Dadri assembly segments of Dadri district.

Babita, who is recovering from an injury, also aims to qualify for the Olympics and eventually bring home a gold medal.

First Published: Aug 12, 2019 14:45 IST

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