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Rahul Gandhi discussed Brij Bhushan issue, sportspersons returning awards during interaction with wrestlers

Rahul Gandhi had interacted with the wrestlers in Haryana's Jhajjar district, the video of which he shared on his X handle. He discussed with them the issue of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan and the returning of awards by Bajrang Poonia.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 New Delhi Published on: December 29, 2023 6:39 IST
Rahul Gandhi, Bajrang Poonia, WFI, wrestlers
Image Source : X/RAHUL GANDHI Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with wrestler Bajrang Poonia

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday (December 28) shared the video of his interaction with the wrestlers he met in Haryana’s Jhajjar district a day ago, in which the sportspersons reiterated their demand for action against former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh in alleged sexual harassment cases. In the over seven-minute-long clip on X, Rahul said, “Misbehaving with talented daughters of the country, betrayal of sportspersons who made the country proud, what kind of tradition is the BJP setting? Dignity and respect, that is all India's wrestlers ask for”.

Rahul, during his visit to the wrestlers, discussed with them their demand for action against Singh, and Bajrang Punia’s announcement to return his Padma Shri award.

Last week, Punia had announced returning his Padma Shri award in protest against the election of Sanjay Singh, an aide of Brij Bhushan Singh, as the new president of the Wrestling Federation of India.

"I didn't feel like keeping it. If our sisters and daughters are not safe what will I do with the awards...Wrestling has given us everything. If its future is not safe, there is no point," Punia said.

Punia and coach Arya Virendra Dalal said that voice against Singh was also raised in 2012 and 2014 but no action was taken then.

"No one had the courage to raise voice against Brij Bhushan Singh. Our sisters had that courage," Punia said during his interaction with Rahul Gandhi.

One of the young wrestlers said in the video that they wanted Sanjay Singh’s removal as the WFI chief to ensure that their future is safe.

Notably, soon after Sanjay Singh’s election, the Sports Ministry suspended the newly-elected WFI panel for not following the provisions of its own constitution while taking decisions and also asked the IOA to constitute an ad-hoc panel to manage the affairs of the sports body.

(With PTI inputs)

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