BJP national president J.P. Nadda on Saturday called on former cricketer Mithali Raj here, in what is seen as another attempt by the saffron party to woo celebrities to its fold.
Nadda met the former captain of India women’s team at Novotel Hotel at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad.
The meeting took place soon after Nadda landed in the city.
He later left for Hanamkonda to address a public meeting to mark the culmination of Praja Sangrama Yatra of BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar.
After the meeting, Nadda tweeted that he had a great interaction with Mithali Raj. He wrote that it was humbling to note her appreciation about the fillip that the sportspersons are getting under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BJP president said she hailed the instrumental personal support and guidance provided by the Prime Minister.
Mithali Raj, one of Indian cricket’s all-time greats, retired from international cricket in June this year. Born in Rajasthan, she lives in Hyderabad.
Mithali Raj also took to Twitter to thank Nadda for the meeting. “It was an absolute pleasure to have an interaction with you,” she wrote adding that under the guidance, support and motivation given by the Prime Minister, sportspersons across the country have achieved glory for our nation.
While the BJP leadership was tight-lipped about the purpose of the meeting, it came amid the attempts by the BJP to woo celebrities to its fold in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Nadda is likely to meet Tollywood actor Nitin on Saturday evening at the same hotel after his return from Hanamkonda.
The meetings with two celebrities come close on the heels of union home minister Amit Shah’s meeting with popular actor Junior NTR in Hyderabad.
Shah had called on Junior NTR on August 21 after addressing a public meeting in Munugode Assembly constituency, which fell vacant after the resignation of Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy. The Congress leader joined the BJP at the public meeting.
Though BJP leaders claimed that politics was not discussed during Shah’s meeting with NTR, it’s no secret that the saffron party is in search of some charismatic faces to woo the electorate and consolidate its base in the two Telugu states, especially in Telangana where Assembly elections are due next year.