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Ready to take responsibility entrusted by 'captain' Modi, says Rathore

Last updated on: May 16, 2014 20:16 IST

Ready to take responsibility entrusted by 'captain' Modi, says Rathore

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India's first individual Olympic medallist to win a Lok Sabha seat says his first priority is to work for the people of his constituency.

'Education, youth employment and water for drinking and agriculture would top my priority list.'

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, India’s first individual Olympic medallist elected to the Lok Sabha, says working for his constituency, Jaipur Rural, is his priority, but, at the same time, he's ready to take up any responsibility thrust upon him by "captain" Narendra Modi.

The celebrated double trap shooter, who joined the BJP last September after taking voluntary retirement from the Indian army, could get the sports minister's portfolio, but Rathore said providing "siksha, rojgar and paani (education, employment and water)" in his constituency will top the agenda.

"It's up to the captain to take the decision, but it's the time to work together and shoulder responsibilities. Be it with or without a post, I'm ready to take responsibility given to me in the next government," said Rathore, in the middle of a celebration with wife Gayithri and the people of Jaipur.

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Image: Rajyavardhan Rathore with his wife Gayithri
Photographs: Rajyavardhan Rathore/Facebook

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'I was fully confident with the top leadership of Narendra Modiji at the helm'

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The Arjuna awardee and Padma Shri recipient humiliated Congress veteran and former Railway minister C P Joshi by an overwhelming 150,000 votes in a landslide victory for the Modi-led BJP.

Rathore is the first individual Olympic medallist to win a Lok Sabha seat. 1972 Olympics hockey bronze medallist Aslam Sher Khan had earlier won.

For one who compared joining politics to diving into deep sea without a "life jacket", Rathore said it is another challenge he likes and thanked Modi for guiding him all the way.

"It did feel diving into deep sea without a life jacket, but I was fully confident with the top leadership of Narendra Modiji at the helm. The people's verdict is out. Modi is no more a mere person. He has become the symbol of development, commitment and nationalism.

"He truly symbolises the idea of 'Ghar Ghar Modi'. We saw that in the results that the nation cannot go wrong."

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Image: Rajyavardhan Rathore
Photographs: Rajyavardhan Rathore/Facebook

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'I will try my best to live up to my people's expectation'

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Asked to compare winning Lok Sabha on debut with his silver medal at the Olympics, Rathore replied: "Earlier, my success was limited to myself, but now if I become a part of the country then it will feel immense proud. It's about serving the nation through politics."

The former armyman further said his clean image and army background had helped him winning the people's trust.

"Life has been full of challenges, right from the war battle in the border, to winning a [silver] medal at the [Athens 2004] Olympics. It has been a tremendous experience.

"I thank the people of India and my constituency for having faith in me. I will try my best to live up to my people's expectation. I have utmost value for the people of my constituency and India.

"My first priority is to work for the people of my constituency. Education, youth employment and water for drinking and agriculture would top my priority list."

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Image: Rajyavardhan Rathore
Photographs: Rajyavardhan Rathore/Facebook

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'They have voted for me seeing my clean image, commitment and the ability to work'

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For Rathore, the character of a person is of equal importance.

"The result has shown that the character of a person holds great importance. The image of being a soldier first and then sportsman was demonstrated in my win. They have voted for me seeing my clean image, commitment and the ability to work," he added.


Image: Rajyavardhan Rathore
Photographs: Rajyavardhan Rathore/Facebook
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