BY VISHAL GULATI
Pehowa (Haryana): Former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh, who produced incredible flicks, is aiming to repeat sensation as India won the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey tournament after a gap of 13 years in 2009 under his captaincy.
This time, he is all set to play a new game of politics.
A greenhorn in politics, the former India captain is the BJP candidate from this ancient pilgrimage town in Kurukshetra district, the region known for the Saraswati river, which is mentioned in Hindu mythology.
“In life one has to face so many challenges. No challenge means no life,” Sandeep Singh told IANS on being asked about his challenges in this seat that his party has never won.
He said he has faced so many challenges in life. “That is why my morale is high and we will definitely achieve the success.”
The Congress and regional outfit Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) have won this seat that is dominated by Jat Sikhs.
Harmohinder Singh Chattha of the Congress won the seat four times — the latest are 2005 and 2009.
INLD’s Jaswinder Singh won the seat in the 2014 elections by defeating BJP’s Jai Bhagwan Sharma by a slender margin of 9,347 votes.
Previously, he got elected on the INLD ticket in 1991, 1996 and 2000.
In January this year, incumbent legislator Jaswinder Singh, who was a man of words and relentlessly fought for farmers’ issues, died due to cancer, and the by-election was not held.
Sandeep Singh, 33, who was paralysed and was on the wheelchair for two years after being hit by an accidental gunshot in a train in 2006, believes Prime Minister Narendra Modi is an inspiration for him.
By joining politics, he wants to serve the nation.
He’s facing a revolt from BJP leaders like the strongest contender Sandeep Onkar, who said he was deliberately ignored despite his hard work in the constituency for years.
Onkar is finally in the fray as an Independent.
“I am here with a mission. I have full confidence in the BJP team. We will definitely move forward in unison. The entire party is united, a family. We all are united,” a confident Sandeep Singh, often termed as ‘Flicker Singh’, added.
On his election strategy, he said jokingly, “As a good player can’t disclose my strategy before the game. Likewise, in politics. But we are going to counter the opposition strongly.”
Sandeep Singh, who aims to work for the youth and wants to start a campaign against drugs, filed his nomination papers on Friday, the last day.
Arjuna awardee Sandeep Singh, whose recovery from injury inspired Diljit Dosanjh starrer Bollywood flick “Soorma”, said he has been following the BJP for a long time.
“I have been influenced by Prime Minister Modi. I want to serve the nation in all earnestness,” he said.
It was a life-threatening injury for him but he returned to the national team in 2008 owing to his grit and determination.
The Congress has fielded Mandeep Singh Chattha, son of former Congress revenue minister Harmohinder Singh, while INLD’s breakaway faction Jannayak Janata Party (JJP), led by Dushyant Chautala, launched Randhir Singh.
The polls to the 90-member Assembly will be held on October 21 and results will be declared on October 24.
(Vishal Gulati can be reached at [email protected])