New Delhi, May 9, 2019-
A boxer has to both receive and return punches to the person opposite him inside the ring, and ace pugilist Vijender Singh is facing similar challenges in his debut bout in the political arena.
Contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the South Delhi parliamentary constituency on a Congress ticket, the Olympic medal winning boxer shared his experiences of campaigning for the five-yearly grand political confrontation.
Enjoying his stint in the heat and dust of electoral politics so far, Singh expressed his confidence of knocking out his political rivals from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
“After entering politics, I am ready to receive the punches of my political opponents, and to give them back too,” said Singh, who is tied in a triangular contest against BJP’s sitting MP Ramesh Bidhuri and AAP’s Raghav Chadha.
All the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in the national capital go to the polls in the sixth phase of polling on May 12.
Asked if he would land his famous knockout punch on May 23 — the day the results of the Lok Sabha elections will be out — the boxer from Bhiwani said, “Wait and see what happens. And wish for me.”
“What I felt during campaigning is that everyone welcomed me with full enthusiasm, and assured me of giving their support. Not only me, they showed their confidence in the Congress as they feel cheated by both the BJP and the AAP. They are seeking answers to the promises made by the two parties. They are seeking a youth who could fight against injustice and solve their problems,” he said.
“This is my debut election and I am confident of securing a huge victory because of the faith shown by the voters in me,” added Singh, who won a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and followed it with another bronze in the World Championships held in Milan the next year.
Hitting out both at the BJP and the AAP, the pugilist said people have now realised that the two parties will deliver nothing except “lies”, so they were now showing their trust in the Congress.
Referring to issues such as lack of water and power supply, illegal sealing, women’s security, unemployment and the other problems faced by the people in South Delhi, the boxer said that he wanted to solve the issues after winning the election.
He also called the AAP’s full statehood demand for Delhi a false promise to the people. “AAP lied to the people, showed people false dreams. But people know that Delhi can never get the full statehood status.”
Singh further said that he had joined politics because of the current situation the country has been facing.
The 34-year-old Haryana youth said that his aim was to do politics of “development” on issues like unemployment, environment, women’s security and education which he claimed were being ignored by the political parties.
In a veiled attack on the BJP, Singh said: “The level of politics has gone down. Instead of working on major issues, the political parties are busy talking about religion and caste despite being in the 21st century. “
Asked why he chose to join the Congress, Singh said the grand old party catered to real issues. “The thinking process of the party is much similar to what I think. Rahulji and Priyankaji’s simplicity appealed to me.”
On being tagged by many as an outsider, the boxer said, “I have been staying in Delhi for the past eight years and it is my home now. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also an outsider. He never stayed in Delhi. But I have given several years to the city and I know the issues facing the people from a very close quarter. I will do my best to improve my constituency.” (Agency)