List of celebrities who have recently joined the BJP
With the induction of celebrated badminton star Saina Nehwal right ahead of the crucial Delhi Assembly elections, the Centre-ruling BJP has made it clear that it is looking to up its star power. And with many influential Bollywood celebrities openly criticizing the government, perhaps the saffron party isn't wrong in thinking so. To jog your memory, these are the celebrities who recently joined BJP.
Badminton star Saina Nehwal joined BJP on Wednesday
Former World No. 1 badminton player Saina Nehwal (29) is the latest addition to BJP's long list of celebrity members. The Haryana-born shuttler, who has clinched over 24 international titles and a bronze medal at the London Olympics (2012), joined the saffron party on Wednesday, in the presence of BJP National General Secretary Arun Singh. Her sister Chandranshu also joined the party with her.
Nehwal said that PM Modi inspires her
Nehwal on Wednesday said that she is inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "BJP is working for the benefit of the country and I am happy to be a part of it...Narendra Modi Sir works so hard for the country, it is inspirational," she said.
Meanwhile, fellow shuttler Gutta Jwala took a dig at Nehwal
Pehli baar Suna hai...bewajah khelna shuru kiya aur ab bewajah party join kiya... 🤔 🧐— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) January 29, 2020
Sports stars Yogeshwar, Sandeep joined party in September 2019
In September last year, with less than one month to go for the pivotal Assembly polls in Haryana, Olympic medalist wrestler and Padma Shri awardee, Yogeshwar Dutt (37), and former Indian hockey team captain, Sandeep Singh (33), had joined the saffron party. While Dutt lost out to INC's Sri Krishan Hooda in Baroda, Singh emerged victorious from the Pehowa constituency seat.
Wrestler Babita Phogat, father Mahavir joined BJP in August 2019
Back in August last year, wrestler and Commonwealth Games champion, Babita Phogat (30), had joined the BJP, along with her father and Dhronacharya awardee wrestler, Mahavir Singh Phogat, right ahead of the Harayana Assembly elections. The father-daughter duo had heaped praises upon PM Modi and Haryana CM ML Khattar. Babita contested the elections from Dadri constituency but lost to BJP rebel leader Somveer Sangwan.
Sunny Deol also threw his hat into politics last year
In April 2019, during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Bollywood actor Sunny Deol took his first-ever political plunge, by joining the BJP. Deol (63) had contested and won the general elections from the parliamentary constituency of Gurdaspur (Punjab). However, soon after the election, the Gadar actor was mired in a major controversy after he hired a "representative" to take care of his constituency.
Jaya Prada's yet another political switch
Veteran actress-turned-politician Jaya Prada has a history of switching parties. Jaya Prada, who had entered politics back in 1994 with NT Rama Rao's TDP and was for a long time a star candidate for Samajwadi Party (SP), made another switch last year, as she joined BJP and called PM Modi a "brave leader". However, she lost the Rampur parliamentary seat to SP's Azam Khan.
A year ago, Gautam Gambhir joined the BJP
Former cricketer Gautam Gambhir, who has always been vocal about his political opinions, joined the BJP about a year ago, ahead of the national elections. Gambhir (38) had retired from all forms of the sport back in December 2018. Contesting the elections from the East Delhi constituency, Gambhir made a stunning debut by beating out AAP's Atishi Marlena and INC's Arvinder Singh Lovely.