Wrestler Dutt, ex-hockey star Sandeep Singh join BJP

New Delhi,  With an eye on the Assembly polls in Haryana, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday announced that prominent sports personalities – wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh – along with Shiromani Akali Dal MLA Balkaur Singh, had joined the saffron party on Thursday.

Speaking to , Dutt said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had influenced his decision to join politics.

“I was deeply influenced by PM Modi when Article 370 was abrogated. It was unthinkable.”

The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist insisted that he wishes to “serve India”. Sources say, Dutt a popular face from Haryana may be fielded from Sonipat.

Another prominent face who joined BJP on Thursday was Sandeep Singh. Sporting a yellow turban and a funky yellow shirt, the former captain of the Indian hockey team told  that it was the sense of discipline exhibited by BJP chief Amit Shah and Modi that attracted him to the BJP. He kept mum however on contesting the Haryana polls, leaving it to the leadership.

BJP sources say, Sandeep Singh too is likely to be fielded by the BJP and may be used as a star campaigner.

However, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Balkaur Singh joining the BJP may create friction between the two parties that are allies at the Centre. All the three joined the party in Delhi in presence of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala.

Haryana will go to the polls on October 21 and the results will be out on October 24. The BJP is expected to decide on the name of candidates by Sunday in its CEC meet when the Prime Minister returns from abroad.

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