Addressing the media for the first time after joining BJP on Wednesday, Badminton star Saina Nehwal described the occasion as a very good one. Maintaining that she liked hard-working people, she praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s relentless efforts for the country. Moreover, she highlighted that the PM had done a lot for sportspersons via initiatives such as ‘Khelo India’. Furthermore, she mentioned that PM Modi gave her a lot of inspiration.
Saina Nehwal remarked, “Today is a very good day. I want to say this because I have won many titles and I have made my country proud in the field of sports. Today, I have joined a party that does good things for the country. I am a very hard-working person and I like hard-working persons. I can see that Narendra Modiji works so hard for the country. It will be my good fortune if I can do something for the country working with him. I like keeping interest in politics. Narendra Modi has done a lot for sports as well. Khelo India is a programme in which many players participate. They get the chance to join big academies and then, to play for the country. I get a lot of inspiration from Narendra Sir. I am looking forward that I can do well. Thank you!”
In 2006, she became the youngest Asian to win a 4-star tournament. Nehwal has won over 24 international titles, that includes 11 Superseries titles. She achieved the world no. 1 ranking in 2015, becoming the second Indian player after Prakash Padukone to bag this honour. Moreover, Nehwal won the Bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
In 2016, the Centre conferred her with the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian honour. She has also been bestowed with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna awards. In 2018, she married fellow player Parupalli Kashyap in a private ceremony.
Incidentally, this will not be the first occasion when a sportsperson has joined BJP. Prior to the 2019 Haryana Assembly election, wrestlers Babita Phogat and Yogeshwar Dutt joined the party. However, both of them failed to win from their respective constituencies.