Wrestling Federation must be dissolved, says the Congress

The party also asks PM what action he took when issues were allegedly flagged to him by a wrestler in 2021 

January 20, 2023 10:36 pm | Updated 10:36 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader and athlete Krishna Poonia alongwith boxer Vijender Singh and party leader Supriya Shrinate addressing the media in New Delhi on Friday, January 20, 2023..

Congress leader and athlete Krishna Poonia alongwith boxer Vijender Singh and party leader Supriya Shrinate addressing the media in New Delhi on Friday, January 20, 2023.. | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

Following allegations of sexual harassment against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the Congress on Friday demanded that the sports body should be disbanded.

The party also asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to spell out what action he took when issues were allegedly flagged to him by a wrestler in 2021.

Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh and Commonwealth Games gold medallist discus thrower Krishna Poonia, both Congress members now, were part of a joint press conference with spokesperson Supriya Shrinate.

Ms. Poonia, a Congress MLA from Rajasthan, said it was very difficult for women athletes as it is and with such matters coming to light it will get tougher for them. With repeated incidents involving the ruling party leaders, she alleged that the BJP has “torn the Beti Bachao slogan to shreds”.

The former boxing champion said he had gone to the Jantar Mantar protest site to express his solidarity with the wrestlers and demanded strict action in the matter.

Ms. Shrinate said it was “shameful” that even after 72 hours Mr. Singh had not resigned and the government was maintaining “conspicuous silence”.

Asking the wrestling federation to be dissolved with immediate effect, she said, “Mr. Brij Bhushan Singh should have resigned yesterday itself. But the biggest demand that we raise for public interest is that women need to be made safe and secure”.

“The biggest question before the country today is, when Mr. Modi got to know the gory details of what was happening in the WFI in October 2021, and Vinesh Phogat is on record to say that she briefed the Prime Minister along with her family, what did he do? Why did he not get an inquiry done?” Ms. Shrinate asked.

“Was there an inter-departmental inquiry done, was Mr. Brij Bhushan Singh summoned, was he asked to clarify his stance? There are many questions today and that is our foremost demand. This country needs to know the truth,” she added.

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