New Delhi: Arjuna awardee and international wrestler Babita Phogat and her father Mahavir Singh Phogat on Monday joined the BJP, giving rise to speculation that Babita could be fielded in the coming Assembly elections from her home state Haryana. The Phogats heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and also hailed its decision on the abrogation of Article 370.

The Phogats had inspired the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal, one of highest-grossing Indian films worldwide. The senior Phogat, a former wrestler, had joined Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, and headed the fledgling outfit’s sports cell. Mr Phogat, a Dronacharya awardee, also praised the PM and Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar for the “transparent government” and youth-centric schemes in the state.

Praising the PM for scrapping Article 370, Mr Phogat said only Mr Modi could have taken the decision to avenge the Pulwama terror attack, when over 40 CRPF personnel were killed in February. Speculation is rife that Babita, 29, could be fielded either from Badhra or Dadri Assembly segments of Dadri district.

The Phogats joined the BJP at its national headquarters in the presence of minister of state for sports and youth affairs Kiren Rijiju, BJP’s Haryana in-charge and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Jain, and state unit chief Subhash Barala. They later met BJP working president J.P. Nadda, who welcomed them into the party fold.

BJP national media convenor and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Baluni said Mahavir Phogat was the perfect example of the Modi government’s “Beti bachao, beti padhao” scheme as he had coached her daughters to be wrestlers against the societal pressures of that time.