Mulayam offers Saina Lok Sabha ticket from Aligarh

From court to Parliament?

Olympic bronze medallist and ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Saturday got an altogether different kind of offer form an unexpected quarter and though it could also provide her an opportunity to serve and smash, the “court” will be entirely different.

The offer came from Samajwadi Party (SP) supremo and former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav.

Speaking at a function in UP’s Aligarh town, about 400 km from here, in which the top Indian shuttler was also present, Mulayam asked Saina to contest the next Lok Sabha elections and offered her his party’s nomination. He said that his party would have no problem in offering Saina a nomination from Aligarh Lok Sabha seat.

“Aap chaho to Aligarh se chunav lad lo...hum ticket de denge” (if you want you can contest from Aligarh...we will give you ticket), Mulayam said to the cheer and applause of the audience. “It will be my blessing to her...I want her to prosper in life and progress further,” the SP supremo went on to add.

“Aapne desh ka naam uncha kiya hai”(you have done the country proud), Mulayam said.
The shuttler, who recently won her fourth title of the year by clinching the Denmark Open Super Series Premier Trophy, however, remained non-committal. “My father wanted me to be a doctor,” was all she said.

Mulayam was speaking at the convocation ceremony of a private university in Aligarh. Saina and five other Olympic medal winners were felicitated by the university with honorary doctorates. The offer from Mulayam, however, went only to Saina and no other Olympian.

The SP supremo, who nurtures prime ministerial ambition, apparently wants to win as many seats as possible from UP so as to be able to play a crucial role post 2014 Lok Sabha polls in the event of both the UPA and NDA failing to secure absolute majority and Saina may ensure him a certain seat.

Along with Saina, bronze medallist boxer Mary Kom, shooters Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang and wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Sushil Kumar were also conferred the honorary doctorate at the ceremony.

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