Former wrestling star ‘the Great Khali’ joins India’s ruling party

New Delhi, Feb 10 (EFE).- Dalip Singh Rana, also known as “the Great Khali” in the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Thursday joined India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The more than 7-feet (2.16 meters) giant of a man dwarfed all other BJP leaders that had gathered to welcome him at the party headquarters in the Indian capital,

Khali addressed a news conference jointly with other BJP leaders and expressed admiration for Modi.

“I am glad to have joined the BJP… I feel Modi’s work for the nation makes him the right prime minister. I thought why not be a part of his governance for the nation’s development. I joined the party after being influenced by the BJP’s national policy,” Khali told reporters.

Born in 1972 in the northern hill state of Himachal Pradesh, Khali began his professional wrestling career in 2000 in the American WWE.

For 17 years, he wrestled with other well-known stars like John Cena, Batista, Shawn Michaels, and Kane.

He has also appeared in several films and has been running a wrestling academy in India since 2015.

Khali joined the BJP the same day when India began seven-phase regional elections to elect new governments in five states, including Punjab in the north.

Khali’s family roots are in Punjab, where he served as a police officer under a quota reserved for sportspersons, according to his website.

The quota allows athletes hired by various government departments to devote themselves almost entirely to their training.

It is one of the few states controlled by the opposition Indian National Congress (INC).

Khali previously campaigned for the BJP, but Thursday marked his formal entry into politics.

Last year, he backed anti-government protests by farmers, triggered by Modi’s three controversial farm laws that sought to liberalize the Indian agricultural sector.

Modi finally withdrew the laws after a year of protests by farmers. EFE


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