Sakshi Malik Bajrang Punia Priyanka

Priyanka Meets Punia, Sakshi Amid Protest Over WFI Chief’s Election

Sakshi Malik Bajrang Punia Priyanka

Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Friday met wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia after Sakshi announced her retirement from wrestling in a protest against the election of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s aide Sanjay Singh as the new president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

Gandhi after meeting the protesting wrestlers assured them of her full support and said that she would stand in their fight till last.

After coming out of the meeting with the wrestlers, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi spoke to reporters and said, “I came here as a woman because I think what has happened to these girls is beyond disgusting.”

After the election of Sanjay Singh as the new president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Sakshi Malik on Thursday put her shoes on the table at the press conference as she announced her decision to quit wrestling.

“We slept for 40 days on the roads and a lot of people from several parts of the country came to support us. If Brij Bhushan Singh’s business partner and a close aide is elected as the president of WFI, I quit wrestling,” she said, accompanied by some other wrestlers who were part of the protest.

Congress leader Deepender Hooda had also accompanied Priyanka Gandhi to the residence of a wrestler.

Deepender Hooda informed that Priyanka Gandhi assured the wrestlers she would stand in their fight for justice till last.

“Priyanka ji told them that Congress is with them. The whole nation is sad over the treatment our women wrestlers have got. This is unfortunate. We assured them of full support,” Hooda said.

Meanwhile, India’s ace wrestler Bajrang Punia, who on Friday announced that he is returning his Padma Shri after former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s aide was elected president of the federation, said he will not take the medal back home and placed it on the pavement near Kartavya Path in central Delhi.

“As I have said earlier we were fighting for our daughters and sisters. I could not get justice for them. Due to this, I think I do not deserve this honour. I came here to return my award, However, I could not meet with PM because I didn’t have an appointment. PM has a busy schedule. So I am putting my award on the letter written to PM. I will not take this medal to my home,” Bajrang Punia told reporters.

Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik were part of a protest by wrestlers against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh over sexual harassment allegations against him.

Earlier, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) elections were held on Thursday after several postponements earlier in the year.

A panel led by Sanjay Singh won the WFI election. The other panel got seven votes.

Sanjay Singh served on the WFI’s previous executive council. Since 2019, he has also served as the national federation’s joint secretary.

The WFI elections were originally slated to be held on August 12. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, while holding a hearing on a petition in August, extended the stay on the WFI elections till September 25. Elections to the federation, which oversees wrestling in the country, were initially planned for June this year. (ANI)

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