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Wrestling

Bajrang Punia refutes allegations of political backing, asks politicians to stay away

Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia has refuted any kind of political backing and motivation behind the protest staged by wrestlers.

Bajrang Punia Commonwealth Games 2022
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Bajrang Punia is a Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist. (Photo credit: SAI)

By

Pritish Raj

Updated: 20 Jan 2023 10:00 AM GMT

Jantar Mantar, New Delhi: Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia has refuted all the allegations of political backing behind the protest made by WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on Friday at the Jantar Mantar protest site.

Talking to the media, Bajrang said, "I would like to refute all the claims of political backing behind the protest. There are no politics involved in this and we are not against political parties or government. I will request all the political figures not to come here and make it political. This is the fight of wrestlers against the federation and we will fight it on our own."

"The president has added a political angle to it and he is trying to deflect the matter. We have no politicians with us and we are not letting anyone enter," Bajrang added refuting the claims made by the WFI president earlier.

Bajrang further went on to claim that he is ready to submit his phone for the investigation to prove that there is no conspiracy against the top brass of WFI.

WFI president in his press conference claimed that the wrestlers are staging this protest due to political and corporate backing in order to defame him.

2023 is a huge year of Wrestling given the Olympic qualification and Asian games in sight.

Talking about the time lost here, Bajrang said, "We also want to go back and train. The players are sitting here and ruining their training and we are unhappy about it. We don't know how long this will go on. This is an important year for wrestlers due to Olympic qualification and Asian Games. We also want to end this."

The 28-year wrestler further added that they want the resignation of WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and the disbandment of the federation to start new.

"We have put forward our demands in front of the sports minister. We have been assured by the ministry that necessary measures will be taken," Bajrang Punia said about the marathon meeting with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur last night.

The wrestlers also wrote to IOA President PT Usha about their demands for a committee to investigate the matter and disband the Wrestling Federation. They also demanded a new committee to run WFI with consultation from wrestlers.

WFI President Brij Bhushan Singh announced on Facebook that he will hold a press conference in Gonda at 4 PM to reveal the reality behind protest by the wrestlers.

The protest enters the third day as more wrestlers flock to support the top Indian wrestlers protesting at the protest site of Jantar Mantar. The protest started on 18th January as the likes of Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Anshu Malik sat in protest to remove the WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh from his post.


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