Barely a fortnight ago, Indian Wrestling Federation president and BJP Lok Sabha member Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s 66th birthday was celebrated with garlands, garlands, slogans and cake cutting. A huge crowd at the Nandininagar Stadium in his hometown of Gonda, Uttar Pradesh.
A lot has changed in the past three days after the country’s wrestlers, led by Olympians Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, accused Singh of sexual harassment and intimidation as head of the federation.
This stunned everyone in Gonda and they are not ready to accept the allegations, even Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur asked Singh to step aside on Friday night until his ministry An inquiry panel set up by the government does not submit its report on the allegations within a month. But nothing seemed to have changed for Singh.
People again turned out in large numbers to congratulate “Netaji”, as his supporters addressed him, as he inaugurated the three-day Open Senior National Wrestling Tournament at the same venue in Gonda. A birthday was celebrated.
“He is our leader and we support him. We will fight every allegation against him” (He is our leader and we support him. We will fight against all charges leveled against him),” a local farmer said. Ramashankar said, when he watched the competition on Saturday.
More than 100 SUVs, jeeps and other vehicles were parked at the venue. More than 500 posters, cut-outs and billboards were put up inside and outside the stadium of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh wearing a “turban” (head dress), giving the impression of a huge political rally. Giving his son and nephew their posts in the WFI also heralded his strength and standing in other institutions in and around the district.
Contrary to his usual habit of speaking loudly on the mic all the time, Singh, however, sat quietly for most of Saturday. However, he held talks with WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar throughout the day (he was suspended from his post by the sports ministry on Saturday evening). In between, he posed for selfies with his supporters with a team of photographers and videographers to record their every move.
The day was also marked by frequent visits of ‘Sadhus’ and ‘Maulavis’ to congratulate Singh and more than 70 people sat on the dais with them. Distribution of sweets (laddus) and food for everyone in the campus made the school day of around 800 students at the Nandininagar Sports Stadium campus.
“It is all about his love and affection for the people of the area and this is not the first time you are witnessing such a scene. It has become a regular feature whenever there is a wrestling event here,” he said. Maharashtra Wrestling Association executive member Vijay Marathe said.
“I’ve been visiting this place and other nationals regularly over the last 12 years around the country, but I don’t see such a wonderful arrangement for everyone at the domestic championships,” he said. “I am still not ready to accept any allegations of harassment as I have never seen any such incident,” she said. could because they also regularly participate in national camps and other domestic events.
A total of 271 wrestlers participated on the first day of the tournament, including more than 50 from Haryana. The Greco-Roman division is expected to increase in numbers when competition begins on Sunday. “Even wrestlers from Haryana, who left the event last night in a hurry to join the agitating wrestlers in New Delhi, will join the event,” said local official Sanjay Mishra.
(tags to translate)Braj Bhushan Singh