Kolkata, Jan 20 (PTI) TMC MP Mahua Moitra on Friday came out in support of wrestlers protesting at Jantar Mantar demanding the ouster of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur need to find a solution to the issue “as soon as possible”.
Singh is accused of sexual harassment and intimidation and top wrestlers of the country have vowed to intensify their protest and lodge multiple FIRs against Singh if WFI is not disbanded immediately. They also claimed that there is no “satisfactory response” from the government to their demand though it had assured them of satisfactory action”.
“What has happened is extremely unfortunate. Indian wrestlers are sitting in a dharna as allegations have surfaced against the sitting president of WFI, who is also a six-time BJP MP,” Moitra told reporters at Palashipara in Bengal’s Nadia district on Friday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks about ‘Khelo India Khelo’ but the BJP-led government at the Centre cannot take any step against the high-handedness and non-cooperation of the WFI chief, she said.
“Despite all allegations, he (Singh) chooses not to resign and the BJP government cannot make him do so either. BJP is unable to make its MPs listen to its commandments. Our hearts go out to the wrestling fraternity. The sports minister and the prime minister need to find a solution as soon as possible,” the Lok Sabha MP added.
Celebrated Indian wrestlers, including Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik, world championship medallist Vinesh Phogat and others are staging a sit-in for the past two days at Jantar Mantar in Delhi against Singh.
The TMC lawmaker had tweeted in favour of the wrestlers earlier this week and questioned the “stoic silence” of BJP lawmakers, especially women BJP MPs and ministers, on the issue. Supporting the wrestlers, Moitra said, “The wrestlers are our pride, they work hard and win medals for our country. But when they are sexually assaulted, no one comes out to support them. The applause we give when they prove their mettle at the competitions is fake”.
Singh on Friday termed the protest by the country’s top grapplers as “dharna of Shaheen Bagh” and reiterated that he will not quit from his post.
The Shaheen Bagh protest was a peaceful sit-in in Delhi during the nation-wide movement against CAA, NRC and NPR that began on December 15, 2019 and lasted till March 24, 2020. PTI PNT KK KK KK
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