BJP’s strongman and WFI chief, Brij Bhushan Singh, leads wrestlers’ protest
Brij Bhushan Singh, a six-time MP and long-time president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), is currently embroiled in sexual harassment allegations made by multiple women wrestlers. Despite his significant influence, Singh’s position is now being questioned as a result of these accusations.
(Image Source – JE)
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP MP and the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), is facing two FIRs registered by the Delhi Police after multiple women wrestlers accused him of sexual harassment.
Protests by top Indian wrestlers, such as Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, have intensified in January and April, resulting in Singh being caught in the crosshairs. Although Singh has denied all accusations and claims that they are politically motivated, the controversy has caused a stir in the sports community. Singh, a “Bahubali neta” of the saffron party, is widely popular in Uttar Pradesh.
BRIJ BHUSHAN SINGH, POLITICIAN IN INDIA’S WRESTLING CONTROVERSY
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh is a well-known politician and six-time MP from Uttar Pradesh, having been elected five times as a member of the BJP and once as a member of the Samajwadi Party in 2009. He has represented the Gonda, Kaiserganj, and Balrampur constituencies and has a significant influence in many districts of Uttar Pradesh, including Gonda, Balarampur, and Ayodhya.
Singh, a former wrestler, began his political career in the 1980s through student politics and gained popularity for his ‘Hindutva image’ during the Ram Mandir movement in Ayodhya.
He won his first Lok Sabha election in 1991 and was re-elected in 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019. Although Singh won the Kaiserganj seat during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections as a Samajwadi Party candidate, he returned to the BJP and won Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and 2019 on a BJP ticket. Singh’s son, Prateek Bhushan, is also a BJP MLA from Gonda.
BJP & BRIJ BHUSHAN SINGH
Brij Bhushan Singh, a long-standing member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has been associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and was named in the Babri demolition case.
He had a brief stint with the Samajwadi Party in 2009, which was an aberration from his association with the BJP. In 1996, when he was indicted in a TADA case for allegedly harboring associates of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, Brij Bhushan Singh was denied a ticket, and his wife Kekti Devi contested and won the election from Gonda on a BJP ticket.
Brij Bhushan Singh wields significant influence in Uttar Pradesh, with about 50 educational institutions under his control and a strong election machinery that operates independently of the BJP, according to local sources. However, his relationship with the BJP has become sensitive due to the ongoing controversy surrounding the sexual harassment allegations filed against him by several women wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik.
Despite this controversy, the BJP has taken no action against him yet, but it remains to be seen what attitude the party will take with just over a year left for the Lok Sabha elections.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is also not seen to be close to Brij Bhushan Singh, and the party high command is reportedly not happy with the ongoing controversy.
CONTROVERSIES INVOLVING BRIJ BHSUHAN SINGH
Brij Bhushan Singh, a BJP MP and WFI chief, was acquitted of all charges in the Babri demolition case in September 2020. Known for his outspoken rhetoric, Singh had previously threatened Raj Thackeray if he entered Ayodhya.
However, he has recently been accused of sexually harassing women wrestlers. While he emerged unscathed in the past, the current allegations have put him in the limelight once again.