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Rahul Gandhi interacts with Haryana athletes during Bharat Jodo Yatra

Karnal (Haryana) [India], January 7 (ANI): Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on Saturday met athletes from Haryana during Bharat Jodo Yatra along with fellow leader Deepender Hooda.

On his interaction with the athletes, Hooda told ANI, "Everyone told Rahul Gandhi that under the current government's sports policy, players are banned from getting jobs on sports quota. Earlier, there used to be recruitment in every department (under sports quota). Now only 3.3 per cent jobs are being given on quota. The policy of 'win a medal and get a job' has been done away with."Hooda warned that if such policies continue, the country will face a big loss.

"If such policies continue, the country will suffer a big loss. Rahul Gandhi has said if we form the government (at the state), we will restore the 'Padak Lao Pad Pao' policy," he added.

Kabaddi player Deepak Niwas Hooda, who met Rahul, said, "I met Rahul ji in Rajasthan as well. No one has ever spoken like this to athletes before. He is meeting athletes and award winners. The aim is to become strong sporting nation like China and the US and he wants to know what we need to do to get there."Hooda said the Bharat Jodo Yatra has had a huge impact and state should reconsider doing away with its reservation policy in sports.

"I gave my suggestions. In my village currently, sporting activities have reduced. More facilities and benefits should be provided to athletes. The Bharat Jodo Yatra has had a huge impact. Every athlete belongs to the country and not just a state and deserves respect and recognition," he added.

On the experience of meeting the Congress, boxer Saweety Boora said, "I felt good after talking to Rahul ji. Sports in Haryana prospered under (former CM) Bhupinder Singh Hooda ji and the medals that our athletes won had a lot to do with his policies. The government should consider restoring sports quota," she said.

In the evening, Rahul watched a Kabaddi match here with senior Bhupinder Hooda, KC Venugopal, Kumari Selja and Deepender Hooda, among other leaders.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra re-entered Haryana on Thursday evening and will pass through four districts of the state between January 5 and 10.

The yatra resumed from the Sanoli-Panipat road in Haryana on Friday.

The yatra entered Haryana through Sanauli Khurd village in Panipat district from Uttar Pradesh on January 5 evening where the participants halted for the night. (ANI)