Will return Khel Ratna, owe a lot to Punjab: Vijender Singh | Off the field News – Times of India


CHANDIGARH: Beijing Olympics bronze medal-winning boxer, Vijender Singh, joined on Sunday a long list of national award winners who have threatened to return their respective awards if the agitating farmers’ demands are not met.
Raising his voice in support of the protestors stationed at the Singhu border in Sonipat, the 35-year-old Vijender, who unsuccessfully contested the 2019 polls on a Congress ticket, said his long association with the state of Punjab brought him to the protest site.
“I support the farmers’ demands, and the entire country should support them because they are the lifeline of the country. Without them, we can’t live for a day,” he said.
“I came here (Sonipat) today as our big brother Punjab is here, so how can people of Haryana stay behind. I owe a lot to Punjab. I spent the maximum of time during my boxing career at National Institute of Sports (NIS) Patiala. So, it is my time to pay back to the state,” Vijender said.
Threatening to return the country’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, which he was awarded in 2009, Vijender appealed to fellow sportspersons across the country to join the ‘revolution’ while issuing a warning to the government, to take the protest ‘nation-wide’ if the laws are not taken back.
“If the government doesn’t withdraw the black laws, I will return my Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. The farmers’ unity was always there and it will remain in the future,” he said.
:I got the award for making the country proud in the international arena, but the way the government is dealing with the farmers is unacceptable. So, in protest, I will return the award and all other benefits that I got along with the award,” he said.
Vijender’s support for the farmers’ cause has come a couple of days after his former India coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu threatened to return his Dronacharya Award to show solidarity with the agitating farmers. Also joining the call were boxing legends Kaur Singh and Jaipal Singh.
As many as 30 more sportspersons from Punjab — including Padma Shri and Arjuna awardee wrestler Kartar Singh, Arjuna awardee basketball player Sajjan Singh Cheema and Arjuna awardee hockey player Rajbir Kaur — have made similar threats.



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