Gonda: Posters, hoarding declaring former WFI chief Brij Bhushan’s ‘dominance’ removed : The Tribune India

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Gonda: Posters, hoarding declaring former WFI chief Brij Bhushan’s ‘dominance’ removed

The BJP MP from eastern Uttar Pradesh is an influential figure in several constituencies and enjoys considerable support

Gonda: Posters, hoarding declaring former WFI chief Brij Bhushan’s ‘dominance’ removed

BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Tribune photo


Gonda (UP), December 25

Posters and hoardings declaring the “dominance” of BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh put up here after his aide won the Wrestling Federation of India chief polls have been removed after the Centre suspended the newly elected sports body.

Singh, who helmed the WFI for multiple terms, had boasted about his “dabdaba” (dominance) which he had asserted will continue as his confidant Sanjay Singh won the WFI polls. He was accused of sexual harassment by some female wrestlers.

Posters and hoardings reading “Dabdaba toh hai, dabdaba toh rahega (There is his dominance, there will be his dominance”) were put up outside the MP’s house here and at other places in the town after Sanjay Singh’s victory in the polls. His supporters also pasted pamphlets carrying the same message on their vehicles.

All these posters and hoardings have now been taken down now as the Sports Ministry announced the suspension of the WFI for alleged violation of procedures, and a day after Brij Bhushan announced his retirement from the politics of wrestling.

“I realised that some of these posters reeked of arrogance,” Singh conceded on Sunday after a meeting with party chief J P Nadda in New Delhi.

“I am now retired. I have a lot of other work. I have to oversee elections (Lok Sabha) too,” Brij Bhushan, an eastern UP strongman, had said.

Nadda had summoned Singh for a meeting in a bid to defuse the crisis that erupted as some leading wrestlers restarted their protest after Singh’s close associates took control of the Wrestling Federation of India.

The supporters of the six-time MP are not happy with what has happened over the past few days. Even though they did not say much explicitly, they looked disheartened.

Local wrestlers kept away from daily practice in ‘akharas’ in Gonda and neighbouring Ayodhya over Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s announcement he was saying goodbye to the politics of wrestling.

Uttar Pradesh BJP president Bhupinder Chaudhary had defended the Sports Ministry’s decision to suspend the newly-elected WFI helmed by Sanjay Singh.

Chaudhary had said in Barabanki on Monday the Union Sports Ministry’s action was not due to pressure from anyone and that it followed due process.

Gonda district Congress president Pramod Mishra has also welcomed the Sport’s Ministry decision.

Local Samajwadi Party leader Suraj Singh said the government’s decision is “not the defeat of any person but that of “ahankar” (arrogance).

Young wrestlers from Punjab, Haryana, Jharkhand, Bihar, Maharashtra and other places for under-20 and under-15 national wrestling championship scheduled from December 28 have started returning home after the government decision to suspend functioning of WFI.

Wrestlers like Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik and World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat have levelled allegations of sexual harassment against Brij Bhushan and the case is being heard in the Delhi High Court. The former WFI chief has denied the allegations against him and claimed that he was being targeted under a conspiracy by Congress leaders.

Singh’s brusque manners are seen by many in the party as an avoidable cause of confrontation, and his announcement may help calm the waters, party sources said.

The Thakur leader from eastern Uttar Pradesh is, however, an influential figure in several constituencies and enjoys considerable support.

The Sports Ministry on Sunday suspended the WFI indefinitely 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.

#BJP #Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh #Uttar Pradesh

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