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Thursday, Oct 17, 2019

Dutee Chand, India’s fastest woman, says she wants to join politics

Soon after she announced her decision on joining politics, several of her followers advised to focus on running and not politics. However, Chand said she is not much bothered about the criticism.

other-sports Updated: Sep 23, 2019 18:35 IST
Debabrata Mohanty
Debabrata Mohanty
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
File photo of Dutee Chand.
File photo of Dutee Chand.(REUTERS)
         

India’s fastest woman Dutee Chand, who had created a flutter after coming out in the open about her same-sex relationship, has said she is interested to join politics. “I have always wanted to join politics since childhood. My family has also been involved in grassroots politics, with my mother being the sarpanch of our village,” tweeted Dutee.

“I’ll join politics if I get a chance in future. It was always my dream to enter politics. My family has been involved in politics for long. I am just 23 and yet to attain the age of becoming a MLA or MP. So far no political party has offered me to join them. If I get any offer, I will surely consider. But right now I am focussed on Tokyo Olympics next year,” she told The Hindustan Times.

She however made it clear that BJD was her party of choice. “Chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Achyuta Samanta(Kandhamal MP) are my idols. What Naveen Patnaik has done for sports very few politicians can do. He has organised international athletics events and hockey championships in Bhubaneswar. Similarly, Achyuta Samanta has done a lot for tribal students,” said Chand. Incidentally, she had campaigned for Samanta in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Soon after she announced her decision on joining politics, several of her followers advised to focus on running and not politics. However, Chand said she is not much bothered about the criticism as there will always be people who would be critical of her decision.

“But I feel a lot of my fans would support my decision. If I join politics, my aim would be develop sports and sports infrastructure. There are many talented young men and women in villages who are withering away due to lack of encouragement. In politics I would always make efforts to help such youths,” she said.

In 2014, the Athletics Federation of India banned her from competing a hormone test found that she suffered from hyperandrogenism. In July this year, Dutee became the first Indian to win a gold medal in 100m category during the World University Games. Currently preparing for the World Championships on September 27 in Doha, Dutee early this year created a flutter when she announced that she has been in a relationship with a woman from her village since 2017.

She said she had to make the relationship public after her elder sister, Saraswati Chand, also a sportswoman, was allegedly threatening her that she would expose her relationship.

If she joins politics, she would be the second Odia sportsperson to join politics. In 2012, former Indian hockey team captain Dilip Tirkey had become

First Published: Sep 23, 2019 18:35 IST

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