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Internationally renowned tennis player Leander Paes joins Goa TMC

The world-renowned tennis player won the Arjuna Award in 1990, he won India’s highest sporting honour, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 1996-1997, the Padma Shri Award in 2001 and India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan in January 2014.

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Panaji: Renowned Tennis player Leander Paes joined the Goa Trinamool Congress in the presence of All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) Chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here on Friday.

The world-renowned tennis player won the Arjuna Award in 1990, he won India’s highest sporting honour, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 1996-1997, the Padma Shri Award in 2001 and India’s third-highest civilian award, the Padma Bhushan in January 2014.

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He won a bronze for India in men’s singles at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He also has five gold and two bronze Asian Games medals to his name and has won eight men’s doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles.

Addressing the media after his induction into TMC, Leander thanked Banerjee and said, ‘’Decades ago, when I was a kid, Didi encouraged me to play for the country when she was the Sports Minister. Now, I have retired from tennis but want to serve the people through the vehicle of politics to make a difference.’’

Speaking on his Goan connect, he said though he was born in Bengal, Goa is now his home. ‘‘I feel responsible for the whole country and want to start by working for Goans in Goa,’’ he added.

Banerjee welcomed the sports icon and said, ‘‘Leander Paes is like my younger brother. I am very happy today. Leander’s entry into TMC will encourage a lot of youngsters to come forth.’’

Banerjee said she was happy to welcome Paes who was like her younger brother.

Party MP Derek O’ Brien, party Vice President Luizinho Faleiro, among others, were present on the occasion.

After the party announced its plan to contest assembly elections in Goa, many Congress leaders have joined the party.

Important among them were former Chief Minister Luizinho Faleiro and Goa Congress General Secretary Yatish Naik.

The party is trying to make inroads into Goa in the 2022 assembly polls.

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