From Aslam Sher Khan to Krishna Poonia: Indian athletes who had success in politics


Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Krishna Poonia's setting for a victory on Tuesday was vastly different from what she's known all her life. Contesting from the Sadulpur constituency in Rajasthan on a Congress ticket, the discus thrower from Haryana who lit up the 2010 Games in Delhi with a throw of 61.5m, beat her nearest rival by over 18,000 votes. This is her first electoral victory, following a defeat in 2013.

Here are few other names in Indian sport who've had success at previous elections:

Rajyavardhan Rathore

In 2014, the current union sports minister became the first individual Olympic medallist to win a Lok Sabha seat. Contesting on a BJP ticket from Jaipur (rural) constituency, the former double trap shooter defeated AICC general secretary CP Joshi by over three lakh votes.

Jyotirmoyee Sikdar

Former middle-distance runner and twin gold medallist at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games, Sikdar won the 2004 parliamentary elections from Krishnanagar in West Bengal. A CPI-M nominee, Sikdar beat Union chemicals and fertilizers minister and BJP candidate Satyabrata Mukherjee by 14,000 votes.

Aslam Sher Khan

Olympian Aslam Sher Khan, a member of the Indian hockey team which won the World Cup gold in 1975, was elected to the Lok Sabha after winning from the Betul constituency in Madhya Pradesh in 1984. He lost the subsequent 1989 election but was re-elected from the same constituency in 1991.

Kirti Azad

In 2014, the former Indian cricketer contested on a BJP ticket from the Darbhanga constituency in Bihar as a sitting MP and won for the third time in a row. His previous two electoral victories came in 1999 and 2009.