NEW DELHI: Popular badminton player and Olympic-bronze medalist Saina Nehwal has joined BJP on Wednesday at party headquarters in the presence of BJP National General Secretary Arun Singh. Nehwal's sister Chandranshu also joined the BJP along with Saina.
Haryana-born Saina Nehwal, 29, is a major acquisition for the party in the middle of the Delhi poll campaign; she is one of the most popular sportspersons in India with a huge fan following and brand value. She is preparing for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In 2015, Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman shuttler to achieve the World No. 1 ranking. She is currently ranked ninth. The badminton player had recently participated in the Thailand Masters 2020 but was defeated in the first round of women's singles itself.
Nehwal, has won more than 24 major international titles so far. She married fellow shuttler Parupalli Kashyap in 2018 in Hyderabad. It is unclear as to what her role in the BJP will be. Saina Nehwal is a native of Haryana and was born in Hisar. She spent many years training in Hyderabad with Gopichand, but later moved to the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru.
In the past, Saina has supported the BJP government on many occasions, Recently, she was one of the first celebrities to support the Centre's controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Last year, a number of sportspersons including cricketer Gautam Gambhir and wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Babita Phogat had joined the BJP. While Dutt had joined the BJP on September 26, along with Former captain of India hockey team Sandeep Singh, Phogat, also a fellow Olympic medallist, had joined the party on August 12 last year.
Nehwal's Twitter account had recently caught attention after she had posted identical tweets lauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at Delhi's Ramlila Maidan. Earlier this month, Saina found herself at the centre of a controversy after ace Badminton Coach Pullela Gopichand revealed that he was upset when she decided to join Prakash Padukone’s academy, in an upcoming book.