Sandeep Singh looks forward to new role as BJP MLA

Former hockey captain and newly-elected BJP MLA meets police officials in Chandigarh, Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Former Indian hockey team captain and newly-elected BJP MLA Sandeep Singh is excited about his new innings as a lawmaker in Haryana.

In his debut election, Singh won from the Pehowa constituency in Kurukshetra, defeating Mandeep Singh Chhattha of the Congress by a margin of 5,314 votes.

The prolific drag-flicker was the only sportsperson among the three fielded by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who made it to the Haryana Assembly, as wrestlers Babita Phogat and Yogeshwar Dutt lost from Dadri and Baroda respectively in the just-concluded polls.

Talking to reporters after the swearing-in ceremony of the new government at the Raj Bhawan here on Sunday, the 33-year-old said he was sad that Phogat and Dutt could not make it to the Assembly, adding that they had put in a lot of hard work during campaigning.

Manohar Lal Khattar took oath as the Haryana chief minister for the second time, while Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) chief Dushyant Chautala was sworn-in as his deputy.

Singh said he decided to enter the poll fray as he had become fond of the saffron party.

"I grew fond of the BJP quite some time ago and I am proud to be an MLA of the party," he said.

Lavishing praise on the previous Khattar-led government in the state, Singh said a lot of work was done to promote sports in the state.

Asked about his ambitions for a ministerial berth, he said it was up to the party.

"If they entrust me with this responsibility, I will definitely try to live up to the party's expectations, be it in sports, youth affairs or anything else," Singh, who was paralysed and on a wheelchair for two years after accidentally being hit by a bullet during a train ride in 2006, said.

He asserted that the BJP-led coalition government would run smoothly in Haryana for the next five years.

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