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BJP’s Kaiserganj Nomination Evokes Condemnation from Wrestlers, Opposition

BJP’s Kaiserganj Nomination Evokes Condemnation from Wrestlers, Opposition

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 2: As celebrations broke out at the home of sitting BJP Member of Parliament Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh after the party gave the Kaiserganj Lok Sabha seat ticket to his son, the former Indian wrestler and Olympic medallist Sakshee Malikkh lamented that “daughters of India” lost while the opposition parties condemned the ruling party’s action as “proxy politics” and an insult to the women of the country.

After long delay, the BJP on Thursday announced Karan Singh, the youngest son of the sexual harassment accused former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, he party’s six-time MP, as the BJP candidate for the Kaiserganj seat in Uttar Pradesh.

Reacting to the BJP announcement, Sakshee Malikkh wrote on X, “Daughters of the country lost, Brij Bhushan won. We all put our careers at stake and slept on the streets for many days in the sun and rain. To date, Brij Bhushan has not been arrested. We were not demanding anything, we were only demanding justice.”

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh faced a massive political storm last year when several protesters, including Sakshee Malikkh and other Olympic medallists Bajrang Punia, and Vinesh Phogat, hit the streets of Delhi to protest against Mr Singh accusing him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour with several women wrestlers. He has denied all allegations against him in the case, which is in court.

The Congress, the Trinamool Congress and the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the Shiv Sena have criticised the BJP for giving a party ticket to Karan Bhushan Singh. Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, “Just when we thought that the Prajwal Revanna scandal had exposed the depths of the BJP’s depravity, they show that there are always new lows for them to fall to. They have now rewarded Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accused of sexual harassment by many of our women wrestlers, with a ticket for his son.”  “This is a party with no moral compass, led by a man whose only anchor is his desire for boundless power,” Mr Ramesh said in a post on X.

In a post on X in Hindi, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said, “Father Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s ticket to son. Do you talk of giving justice to women like this?” “You put one’s hat on another’s head. You are trying to fool the people. Shameful,” she said.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) also slammed the BJP for giving a Lok Sabha poll ticket to Brij Bhushan Singh’s son. TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sagarika Ghose said the BJP dropping incumbent MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh only to field his son from the Kaiserganj Lok Sabha seat in UP is “shameful” and a case of “politics of proxy.”

This also shows that the BJP was not ready to condemn the “sexual assault” committed by Brij Bhushan Singh, she said. “That the BJP has given a ticket to Karan Singh, who is the son of its former star MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, is shameful and disgraceful. Mr Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been accused of serious sexual assault by none other than India’s Olympic medal-winning women wrestlers,” she said.

Brij Bhushan Singh, who stepped down from the post amid a raging protest against him over the sexual harassment allegations by women wrestlers, has denied the charges. The Delhi Police has filed a charge-sheet against him.

“He has also been accused under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act for sexual offences against children… To give a ticket to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s son is nothing but the politics of proxy. Karan Singh is a proxy for his father,” Ghose said. “It shows that the BJP is not willing to condemn the sexual assault committed by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh” and its slogans on women empowerment are “hollow”, she said.

The BJP’s slogans of “Nari Shakti, Nari Samman and Beti Bachao” are all “hollow, shallow, meaningless and bogus”, Ms Ghose said and added that “it says it stands for Nari Samman but has given a ticket to a proxy of someone who is accused of serious sexual assault and assault against women.”

“Second, BJP says it’s against Parivarvad or family politics… What is this but dynastic politics? The fact is, Mr Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s other son is already an MLA. Now, his other son has also got an MP ticket,” she said.



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