Wrestler Khali campaigns for BJP nominee, draws huge crowds

Kolkata, Apr 26 (PTI) Champion wrestler ‘The Great Khali’ on Friday turned up for the nomination filing of BJP candidate for Jadavpur constituency Anupam Hazra, drawing huge crowds that cheered him as he travelled in an open jeep.
“We are old friends,” Hazra said about Khali, who said the BJP candidate was a like a “brother” to him.
People came out in droves to see India’s first world heavyweight wrestling champion in WWE, whose actual name is Dalip Singh Rana.
‘The Great Khali’, towering at seven feet and one inch, waved and smiled at the colourful procession that travelled along with him and Hazra from Ranikuthi to Alipore Survey Building, where the nomination was filed, covering a distance of almost six kilometers.
“When he (Khali) came to know I am fighting elections, he said he will come… It is because of our bonding that he came. He has never been to any such event earlier,” said Hazra, a professor at Vishvabharati University.
“I will come whenever and wherever he calls me,” Khali said, as he urged people to vote for Hazra.
Hazra also said the presence of Khali is not an attempt to “intimidate” the ruling Trinamool Congress, of which he was an MP from the Bolpur constituency.
He was expelled from the TMC for anti-party activities in January this year.
The BJP, which he joined three days after expulsion from the TMC, nominated him from the Jadavpur Lok Sabha constituency.
Hazra is up against Trinamool’s filmstar candidate Mimi Chakraborty and CPI(M)’s Bikash Bhattacharya, a senior lawyer and a former Kolkata mayor.
On Khali, Hazra added that he had met him five-six years back in Delhi at an event, and they have been close friends since then.
“When he came to know that I am contesting the elections again, Khali said he will be in India for a week and will come to Kolkata to take part in my campaign,” he told PTI.
Khali is now a US citizen.

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