Olympic wrestler slams BJP over nomination of ‘sex offender’ Brij Bhushan’s son for LS polls

Olympic wrestler Sakshi Malik being forcefully detained by cops in New Delhi during a protest in May 2023 over sexual harassment and abuse allegedly by BJP leader and WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. [Photo: Twitter]

New Delhi: Prominent Indian female wrestler Sakshi Malik criticised the BJP on Thursday for selecting Karan Singh, the son of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, as its candidate for the Lok Sabha elections from the Kaiserganj seat in Uttar Pradesh. Sakshi expressed her dismay, stating that this decision was a setback for the daughters of the country.

Prominent wrestlers like Sakshi, Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat had accused Brij Bhushan of sexual harassment of women wrestlers during his tenure as Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and had protested at Jantar Mantar for months, demanding his arrest.

Brij Bhushan is the current Member of Parliament from Kaiserganj, and the nomination of his son for the BJP ticket has upset the protesting wrestlers.

In a social media post, Sakshi wrote, “The daughters of the country lost, Brij Bhushan won.” The Rio Games bronze medallist Sakshi, who retired from wrestling last year, expressed disappointment that their demand for justice had gone unmet.

“We risked our careers, spent days and nights on the streets under the sun and rain. Till date, Brij Bhushan has not been arrested. We were not asking for anything except justice.

“Instead of arresting him, today, by giving a ticket to his son, you have shattered the morale of millions of daughters of the country. If a ticket is only for one family, is the government of the country so powerless in front of one man? Only votes are sought in the name of Lord Shri Ram, but what about the principles he taught?” she questioned.

During their protest last year, Sakshi, Bajrang, and Vinesh had demanded that none of Brij Bhushan’s relatives or close aides be allowed to contest the WFI elections.

However, a close aide of the BJP leader, Sanjay Singh, was unanimously elected as the new WFI chief last December. This prompted Sakshi to hold a press conference shortly after the election results were announced, announcing her retirement from the sport.

While Bajrang and Vinesh did not post anything themselves on social media, they shared several critical comments regarding the BJP’s decision.

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