Updated December 24th, 2023 at 18:24 IST
Sharad Pawar's NCP accuses BJP of not helping women wrestlers, calls WFI's suspension 'farce'
The NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar accused the BJP of not helping women wrestlers.
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The NCP faction led by Sharad Pawar accused the BJP of not helping women wrestlers after the latter accused former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and MP Brij Bhushan of abusing his power. The NCP, on Sunday, tagged the suspension of WFI by the Union Sports Ministry a 'farce.'
The ministry suspended Bhushan on Sunday until further orders after the newly-elected body made a 'hasty announcement' of organising the U-15 and U-20 nationals 'without following due procedure and not giving sufficient notice to wrestlers' for preparations.
The ministry also said the new body was working under the 'complete control of former (WFI) office-bearers,' which was not in conformity with the National Sports Code.
The WFI elections were held on December 21 with Bhushan's loyalist, Sanjay Singh, and his panel winning the polls by big margins.
In a message on social media platform X, Clyde Crasto, National Spokesperson of the Sharad Pawar-led NCP said, "If this can be done, then why did they allow elections to be conducted? By suspending the committee if BJP-led ministry thinks they are absolving themselves from not helping the women wrestlers, they are mistaken."
The top wrestlers of the country Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik led the agitation against Brij Bhushan after accusing him of sexual harassment against female grapplers. The case against Bhushan is being heard in the Delhi High Court.
Bajrang returned his Padma Shri award to the government on Friday in protest over Sanjay Singh's election as WFI chief. On Thursday, Sakshi Malik quit wrestling for the same reason.
Bhushan, on Sunday, said he was 'done' with the sport and the newly-elected body will now take care of it as he has many more responsibilities to look into, including next year's Lok Sabha elections. He also announced that he would break all ties with wrestling by December 31.
A sitting BJP MP from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh, Bhushan added, "I have nothing to do with the sport now. I have other responsibilities to focus on now. I will be away from the politics of this sport." (with PTI inputs).
Published December 24th, 2023 at 17:47 IST