Ultra marathon runner Sunil Sharma along with four others from Himachal Pradesh joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the national capital on Monday. “As many as 250 youth leaders will join the party in Himachal Pradesh,” Delhi Health Minister and AAP’s election in-charge for the hill state Satendar Jain told a press conference here.
Welcoming Sharma to his party fold, the senior AAP leader said he and his “friends” in Himachal Pradesh have joined the AAP as they were “inspired” by party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal and “impressed” by the Delhi Chief Minister’s model of governance.
“He (Sunil Sharma) is a decorated athlete and ultra marathon runner.He ran 1480 km from Delhi to Mumbai in The Great India Run in 2016, completed the 250 km run from Chandigarh to Delhi in 38 hours 25 minutes as a part of the Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao campaign,” Jain said.
Sharma said that he joined the party to work for the youth and sports persons. “I have been fighting a battle for myself and the youth for the last 6 years so that the youth of our country can make progress in sports and bring laurels to the country. This will be possible only when they get a better platform,” he said.
“Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jairam Thakur makes a policy for rafting and cricket but there is no policy for athletes. There is no one to support us. This is the reason why I was compelled to join politics after leaving sports so that by joining the Aam Aadmi Party, I could do better for other youth,” he added.
The AAP is strengthening its base in Himachal Pradesh to contest the assembly polls due later this this year. Riding high on its landslide victory in Punjab elections in March, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is hoping to gain foothold in the hill state by projecting itself as an alternative to the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress in the upcoming elections.