Olympic medallist Rathore joins BJP

Olympic medallist Rathore joins BJP

Ace shooter and former Olympic silver-medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and princess of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family Diya Kumari on Tuesday decided to join the BJP in the presence of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and party national president Rajnath Singh at a meeting here. 

The 43-year-old Rathore, who has already taken voluntary retirement from the post of Colonel in the Army, said he is responding to the need of the hour. “For 23 years I have served the nation in war and peace to the best of my ability. I have been trained to fight by the finest army in the world, and so I must not back out when the nation is faced with a different kind of threat,” he said in a statement.

He described Narendra Modi as a “decisive” leader who should be given a chance to lead the country. “I know politics and politicians are hated, but I still believe in the goodness of a heart that has selfless intentions. With the grace of god, I will make a difference,” said Rathore, who had won the silver medal in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games in double-trap shooting.

Contending that he finds “very creditable leadership” at the helm of the BJP, Rathore said the party has committed and strong grassroots cadre.

“India today needs decisive leadership, and I see that leadership in Narendra Modi and Vasundhara Raje. Like a general who leads from the front, Modi has galvanised a nation that had forgotten to believe. He deserves a chance, India deserves a chance and I am willing to soldier for India,” he said.

Welcoming him to the party, Modi said: “It is not just a membership of the party but a matter of relationship and member of a family. This is like a blood relation, devotion towards motherland and commitment to the party.”

Talking about his voluntary retirement from the Army, Rathore said: “I am indebted to the Indian Army, from my birth till now. I have grown and imbibed the indomitable spirit of this fighting force. The sacrifices of its men and women have only emboldened me to act free of fear or prejudice. My military spirit is deeper than the uniform I hang up. Once an Armyman, always an Armyman.” Asked whether she would contest the upcoming assembly poll, Diya Kumari said, “I will go by whatever the party decides.”

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