Former world number one badminton player Saina Nehwal joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday, hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an 'inspiration' with his 'hard work' for the country.
Joining the party at a ceremony at its headquarters in New Delhi, Nehwal, 29, said the BJP has been doing 'a lot of good', and she would work to do her bit as its member.
Nehwal, who has been vocal on Twitter in her support for the Union government's policies, told reporters that she is a hard-working professional and likes hard-working people, as she heaped praise on Modi.
"I am a hard-working person and like hard-working people. Narendra Modi sir has been working day and night for the country. If I can do something for the country with him, it will be my good fortune. I draw a lot of inspiration from Modi sir. He inspires me," she said.
She is the first Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal, a feat she achieved in the 2012 London games where she was a bronze-medallist.
The Padma and Arjuna awardee, who later met BJP president J P Nadda, also referred to the government's 'Khelo India' initiative and praised it.
Her elder sister Chandranshu Nehwal too joined the saffron party along with her.
BJP general secretary Arun Singh told reporters that Saina has brought glory to the country with her 24 international titles, including gold in the Commonwealth Games, and the people of India are 'proud' of her.
"She is an inspirational figure," he added.
BJP sources said the party may deploy her in the Delhi election campaign, especially to reach out to youngsters, presenting her as a 'youth icon' who chose to join it.