Boxer Vijender Singh leaves Congress, joins BJP

The boxer joined the BJP in the presence of the party's national General Secretary Vinod Tawde. Photo: IANS

New Delhi: Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, Olympic medallist boxer and Congress leader Vijender Singh on Wednesday joined the BJP here.
Earlier, speculation was rife that Singh might be fielded by the Congress from Mathura against BJP’s Hema Malini, who is in the fray for the third time in a row. Singh is currently a professional boxer and fights in various countries.

“It’s a homecoming for me after five years as I had contested the poll in 2019,” he said, adding “he is inspired by the honour given by the BJP government to the players”. The boxer joined the BJP in the presence of the party's national General Secretary Vinod Tawde. Last week, the boxer in a post on X, wrote, “Wherever the public wants, I am ready.”

Singh walked with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi after joining the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra' first in Khargone in Madhya Pradesh and later in Haryana’s Karnal district.

In Madhya Pradesh, the two were seen talking to each other and also twirling their moustaches -- a nod to the boxer's native Haryanvi style -- in a video shared by the Congress Twitter handle.

After the foot march in Haryana, Singh and the Congress shared photos of the Yatra. “Haryanvi Ha Dabya Koni Karde,” tweeted the boxer in the local language along with a photo, which also had Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's pet dog 'Luna' in the frame.

“Ek punch nafrat ke khilaaf (A punch against hatred),” the Congress had written and the post was re-tweeted by Singh where both Rahul Gandhi and him were seen posing with fists for the camera.

Hailing from the dominating Jat community in Haryana, Singh's move may have political ramifications in regions like western Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan as well. He belongs to Bhiwani district in Haryana and had fought the last Lok Sabha election from South Delhi and stood third. He has two silvers and one bronze in the Commonwealth Games.

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