Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Friday alleged that the returning of medals by wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia exposed the BJP’s insensitivity towards women and their safety.
Mr Gehlot wrote on X, “First the retirement of Sakshi Malik, who brought laurels to the country by bringing medals and now Bajrang Punia’s return of Padma Shri award, puts a big question mark on the intentions of BJP in the fight for justice for wrestler daughters.” He added, “The malice displayed by the BJP in this matter and the disregard for the demands of the victims is condemnable and sad. This episode is exposing BJP’s insensitivity towards women’s safety.”
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia on Friday returned his Padma Shri award in protest against the appointment of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s confidant Sanjay Singh as the president of the Wrestling Federation of India.
On Thursday, Sakshi Malik returned her Olympic bronze and announced her retirement at a press conference in Delhi by placing her boots on the table before media.
Several top wrestlers, including Ms Malik and Mr Punia, had earlier this year launched an agitation against Brij Bhushan, who they had accused of sexually exploiting women wrestlers under his stewardship of WFI. The matter is in court.
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Ashok Gehlot,Sakshi Malik,Bajrang Punia