Bhubaneswar: Former captain of the Indian Men’s Hockey Team Prabodh Tirkey today officially joined Indian National Congress in Odisha.
The eminent sportsperson joined the political party during a programme at Congress Bhawan in Bhubaneswar.
Odisha PCC President Sarat Pattanayak, Congress’ state in-charge A. Chellakumar, Jatni MLA Suresh Routray, Odisha Congress Campaign Committee Chairman Bijay Patnaik, former OPCC President Niranjan Patnaik and other senior members in the party were present at the event.
Earlier, Tirkey had revealed his plan to join the Congress and contest the next Assembly election from the Talsara seat in Sundargarh district, a cradle of hockey that has produced many players at national and international levels.
Recently, he had joined a protest at Talsara that indicated his future plan to join politics.
Worth mentioning that Talsara was a Congress stronghold earlier. In the 2019 Assembly elections, the seat was won by BJP’s Bhabani Shankar Bhoi.
He said that he was deeply influenced by Rahul Gandhi and was in touch with senior Congress leaders to join the party.
Tirkey has a strong sports career in hockey. Leading the sub-junior, junior, India-A and senior teams, he has played 135 international hockey matches. He had played for the Indian team that won 2009 Asia Cup in Chennai.
He was conferred with the Ekalavya Puraskar in 2001 and Biju Patnaik State Sports Award in 2009 for his contribution to Indian Hockey.