New Delhi: To take on UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at her home turf Rae Bareli, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) is mulling over fielding new entrant Major Surendra Poonia against her. The BJP is looking for a clean and popular candidate to give a tough fight to members of the Nehru-Gandhi family in the upcoming general election.

Rae Bareli is a Congress stronghold. The BJP is making a list of new candidates that can fight against the Congress veteran. Sources say Major Poonia is among the choices as he is an Army veteran and sportsman of international calibre. However, a final decision on this is yet to be made as there are other names in the fray.

MyNation spoke to Poonia to know more about the development. "If PM Narendra Modi asks me to contest against Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli, I will happily take the task. This will be a fight between 'chor versus chokwidar'," he said.

"As an Army person," Poonia said, "I have done chowkidari for the country and now if given an opportunity I will do chowkidari against chor who are behind several scams in the country." 

Poonia added that he is yet to hear from party headquarters anything about contesting the polls from Uttar Pradesh. He is currently busy in campaigning activities.

When questioned about the strategy to challenge Sonia Gandhi on her home ground, Poonia replied, "There was a time when defeating Mughals and British forces appeared to be a mammoth task. If that has happened, even this will happen. the Nehru-Gandhi family has nothing to showcase except scams they have been involved in. They are neck-deep in scams and the Modi government has a series of achievements in all the sectors.”

Sonia Gandhi registered four consecutive wins from Rae Bareli since 2004. She defeated BJP’s Ajay Agarwal with a margin of over three lakh votes in 2014. The parliamentary constituency has a population of over three million. It has 13.79 lakh voters, out of which 6.45,861 are women and 7.33 lakh men. Hindus form the 68% majority followed by Muslims (30%).

Who is Major Poonia who joined BJP, a day after Gautam Gambhir?

Non-functional factories, land acquisition and compensation for farmers are election issues in Rae Bareli.

Major Poonia joined the BJP in the presence of senior BJP leaders JP Nadda and Ramlal earlier this week. He is not new to politics as he was previously associated with the Aam Admi Party for a brief period. He also contested in the 2014 parliamentary election from Sikar Lok Sabha of Rajasthan. He resigned from the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) in 2015 just before Delhi assembly polls due to ideological differences with Arvind Kejriwal.

Major Surendra Poonia is the first Indian athlete with the rare distinction of having won medals in power-lifting and athletic events in four consecutive world championships. He has represented India in Croatia, Spain, Ireland, and Turkey in 5 World Championships and has won 27 medals out of which 10 are gold.

Maj Poonia is also a former Special Forces officer of the Indian Army and founder of Soldierathon marathon. He was commissioned into the Army Medical Corps in August 2001. He has served with The President's Bodyguard at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Special Forces and the United Nation's peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.