Indian badminton champion Saina Nehwal and her sister Abu Chandranshu Nehwal on Wednesday joined the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) at its headquarters in New Delhi.
The former world number player said that she was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hardworking nature.
PM @narendramodi works tirelessly. I have been making the country proud for some time now and want to do something for the country after joining the BJP.— BJP (@BJP4India) January 29, 2020
BJP is a party that is doing good work for the country and I’d like to contribute to it: @NSaina pic.twitter.com/jXt00ufVk5
“Our PM Modi works hard, day in and out. I have also earned laurels for the country for some time now. And going ahead, I wish to do something for India with the party,” the Olympic bronze winner told the media, wearing a saffron BJP scarf.
She added that the political party is doing good for India. “That is my opinion and I would love to serve the country,” said Saina.
Arun Singh, General Secretary of BJP, highlighted Saina’s achievements as a professional shuttler. This includes earning 24 international titles, earning the world number two spot in 2009 and becoming the world’s number one player in 2015.
Her mother Usha Rani told the media that she is happy with Saina’s decision to become a BJP member. "Saina was doing well in sports and she will do well in politics also. BJP is doing good for the country, Saina is very hardworking and will work hard in this field as well," Usha added.
However, not everyone felt the same, and expressed different opinions on Twitter. While some are excited to see the player in this new avatar, other keen followers and fans are not happy.
Welcoming the three times representator of India in the Olympics, the one who made our nation proud by winning 24 international title's @NSaina in the world largest political party @BJP4India.— Kavithiya Sunilkumar (@Sunilkumar4bjp) January 29, 2020
Together we can, Together we will make INDIA the best. pic.twitter.com/N2olPNtglM
Growing up, @NSaina was a legend for me. I followed her story,her struggle,her victories,her losses & her success very closely.— Rahul (@Th3wond3rkid) January 29, 2020
I don't know why but as soon as I heard her joining @BJP4India, I've lost all respect for her. It's like she doesn't even love the nation.#SainaNehwal
#SainaNehwal Saina Nehwal, Credit where it is due:— Einstein 🇮🇳 (@DesiPoliticks) January 29, 2020
She is The Brand Ambassador of "One Nation, One Tweet" text.
I was initially curious as to how she can play with spine injury? But now that she joined BJP, it is quite apparent that she does not have a SPINE.
RT If you agree. pic.twitter.com/qS08ZqtGxH
Saina’s entry into politics with BJP comes less than a fortnight before Delhi’s assembly polls, scheduled for February 8. Additionally, massive protests have been taking place since the Citizenship Amendment Act was passed by the government in December 2019.
However, Saina expressing support towards BJP is not new. She has been actively lauding and supporting the party’s initiatives on Twitter.
The 29-year-old was honoured by the government of India with Arjuna Award in 2009, and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2010. Also a Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee, her life will be soon depicted on silver screen with her role essayed by actor Parineeti Chopra in Amole Gupte’s Saina.