Wrestlers protest: The Congress party, on Thursday, lambasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the sexual exploitation allegations against BJP MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.
The grand old party asked if this was the “better environment” for sports that has been created by the government. The attack by the Opposition party comes after star wrestler Vinesh Phogat alleged that WFI president Singh has been sexually exploiting women wrestlers for years. However, Singh has outrightly rejected the allegations against him, accusing some industrialists of maligning his image.
Congress demands CBI investigation into the matter
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said that players have made serious allegations of exploitation against the Wrestling Federation and its president and their voices should be heard. “Our players are the pride of the country. They bring laurels to the country by their performance at the world level,” she wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has also demanded the matter to be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Congress general secretary incharge of communications Jairam Ramesh claimed that the list of BJP leaders who have committed atrocities on daughters is endless. “Was ‘Beti Bachao’ a warning to save daughters from BJP leaders! Prime Minister, please answer. Mr Prime Minister, why are all those who commit atrocities on daughters from the BJP,” he tweeted in Hindi.
‘Is this the better environment…’ Congress asks govt
Ramesh further added, “Yesterday, you said that a better environment has been created for sports in the country. Is this the ‘better environment’ in which even the daughters who bring laurels to the country are not safe?”
Phogat also claimed that several coaches at the national camp in Lucknow have also exploited women wrestlers, adding that there are a few women at the camp who approached the wrestlers at the behest of the WFI president.
The 28-year-old, however, clarified that she never faced such exploitation but claimed that “one victim” was present at the ‘dharna’ they began at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.
Sports ministry seeks explanation from WFI
66-year-old Singh was elected unopposed President of WFI for a third consecutive term in February 2019. Taking note of the allegations, the sports ministry has sought an explanation from WFI and directed it to furnish a reply within the next 72 hours.
Notably, Rio Olympic medallist Sakshi Malik, world championship medallist Sarita Mor, Sangeeta Phogat, Anshu Malik, Sonam Malik, Satyawart Malik, Jitender Kinha, Amit Dhankar and CWG medallist Sumit Malik were among 30 wrestlers who assembled at the famous protest site.
(With inputs from PTI)