New Delhi, January 29
Courting controversies and hitting headlines are not new for BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh’s Kaiserganj and Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is now facing allegations of sexual harassment from India’s top grapplers.
Run-ins with law
- Four cases are currently pending against the six-time MP from UP, Brij Bhushan
- Charges include causing voluntary harm to public servant, robbery, attempt to murder and illegal payments related to a poll
While a special five-member oversight committee led by Olympic medallist Mary Kom is probing the charges, a peep into Brij Bhushan’s past reveals his several run-ins with the law. A “don of dons” to followers and critics alike, Brij Bhushan (66) spent several months in Tihar Jail under the draconian Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) for allegedly aiding associates of gangster Dawood Ibrahim. He was, however, later acquitted of the charges.
He had been charged with sheltering Dawood’s shooters at his MP flat in the Capital’s Meena Bagh area between February and June 1993. The shooters had all been allegedly involved in the sensational JJ Hospital shootout in Bombay in 1992. It was also alleged that they had used the MP’s phone to speak to Dawood.
The hospital shootout was a retaliation for the murder of Dawood’s brother-in-law Ibrahim Parkar, killed by shooters of the rival Arun Gawli gang. The shootout was also the first case in the country in which AK-47 rifles were used.
Even today, four cases are pending against Brij Bhushan. The charges against him include causing voluntary harm to public servant, robbery, attempt to murder and illegal payments in connection with an election.
In 2004, Brij Bhushan was replaced by Ghanshyam Shukla as the party’s candidate from Gonda parliamentary constituency. Shukla was killed in a road accident the same year. Alleging that it was murder, Shukla’s wife wrote to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, seeking a CBI probe into the matter. Brij Bhushan was also allegedly involved in a gunfight in 1993, but was acquitted by a local Gonda court in December last year in the case. The case related to an alleged attack on former minister in the Samajwadi Party government Vinod Kumar Singh in 1993 outside his house in Nawabganj, Gonda.
Brij Bhushan’s controversial past has, however, hardly ever hampered his electoral run. A six-time Lok Sabha member, who before representing Kaiserganj, was also elected from Gonda and Balrampur parliamentary constituencies in Uttar Pradesh, Brij Bhushan to date is believed to be highly influential in 4-5 districts surrounding Ayodhya, the land to which he credits his political rise as he was at the forefront of the Ram Temple movement.
Having done LL.B from Dr RML Avadh University, Faizabad, in 1985, Brij Bhushan marked his entry into active politics through the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
His interest in wrestling can be traced to the time spent in the akhadas of Ayodhya during his early years. The love for the sport and the political clout that he wielded helped him become the president of the WFI in 2011.
BJP leaders claim that his “strong man” image and his work for the underprivileged helped him win successive elections. But at the same time they maintain that despite successive electoral victories, the party kept a safe distance from him by denying him a position within the organisation and the government.
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