Tennis champion Leander Paes joined the Trinamool Congress in Goa on Friday, 29 October, in the presence of West Bengal Chief Minister and party chief Mamata Banerjee.
"Now I have retired from tennis. I want to serve the people through the vehicle of politics... to make a difference to the country. Didi (Mamata Banerjee) is a true champion," the tennis player was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Though Paes was born in Kolkata, his father, Vece, is of Goan origin.
The 48-year-old athlete received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1996-97, the Padma Shri award in 2001, and the Padma Bhushan prize in January 2014.
Earlier in the day, actor Nafisa Ali joined the party as well in the presence of Banerjee, who is on her maiden visit to Goa from the 28 to 30 October.
The TMC supremo's visit to Goa comes at a time when the party has its eyes set on the 2022 Goa Assembly elections, and has employed the assistance of poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
The party, after securing a landmark victory against the BJP in the West Bengal Assembly polls in May, is now harbouring ambitions of treading into the national political arena as the 2024 Lok Sabha elections approach.