New Delhi: While international sporting bodies, including the International Olympics Committee, condemn the way protesting wrestlers in India and their allegations are being treated, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in Uttar Pradesh are busy garnering support for their MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is the chief of the Wrestling Federation of India.
According to the Economic Times, several BJP legislators from the Devipatan region, where Singh enjoys widespread political clout, have come out in his support and are rallying crowds for the Ayodhya show of strength Singh has planned.
Singh has said he will organise a ‘Jan Chetna Maha Rally’ in Ayodhya on June 5. Singh’s rally is seen as his attempt to consolidate the Hindu religious leaders’ support for him against the women wrestlers who have been protesting against him in New Delhi.
Prominent seers in Ayodhya have also reportedly professed their support for Singh.
Sants in Ayodhya back BJP MP Brij bhushan Sharan Singh.
Wrestlers protest is being politicised. As far as we know, he (Brij Bhushan) hasn’t sexually harassed anyone: Mahant Gauri Shankar Das pic.twitter.com/ac2dkhOuNf
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) May 30, 2023
Seers in Ayodhya have gone as far as to organise a rally in Ayodhya in his support. At the rally, according to PTI, they will also protest against the POCSO Act, which they claim “has many loopholes and defective clauses”.
“We the seers of Ayodhya and those from other religious places of the country will hold the rally in favour of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh,” said Mahant Satyendra Das.
“We will also oppose the POCSO Act as it has got many loopholes and defective clauses,” he said.
It appears that this is the same rally on June 5 that Singh had earlier himself announced.
The wrestlers have accused the police and the BJP government of not acting against Singh, even though one of the two FIRs against him is under the POCSO Act, which usually invites swift and stringent action. That the party is standing behind Singh was evident on Sunday, when he attended the inauguration of the new parliament building presided over by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Note: This article was originally published on May 31, 2023 and republished on June 1, 2023 with updates.