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Sexual Harassment Accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Dropped, but his Son Gets the BJP Ticket

Sexual Harassment Accused Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh Dropped, but his Son Gets the BJP Ticket

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, May 2: After repeatedly accusing the Congress of fomenting “Parivaarvad,” the BJP on Thursday named as its candidate for the Kaiserganj seat in Uttar Pradesh Karan Bhushan Singh, the youngest son of the sitting MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the accused former chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).

The announcement, made this afternoon, puts a lid on the speculation surrounding the Kaiserganj seat and its high-profile MP. A six-term MP, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh suffered a massive political setback due to sexual harassment allegations against him that saw some of the country’s top wrestlers hit the streets.

The allegations prompted the BJP, which maintained a studied silence during the months-long agitation by some of the top wrestlers of the country, to look for another option, as it did not want the row to ruin its poll prospects in the politically-significant state. The party, however, did not dare to ignore the political clout Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh holds in the area and opted for his son as his replacement even while criticising other parties for giving ticket to family members of known leaders.

Sources in the BJP said the party leadership had earlier spoken to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on the issue but the heavyweight politician was insisting on the party ticket. The move to retain the seat’s contest within the family highlight the influence of the Thakur leader and six-time MP in the region and the party.

While his elder son Pratik Bhushan Singh is an MLA, Karan Bhushan, Brij Bhushan’s younger son, is the president of the Uttar Pradesh Wrestling Association and is also the chairperson of the Cooperative Bank in Nawabganj in Gonda district.

After the announcement of his candidature Karan Bhushan Singh extended his gratitude to the BJP for the ticket. “I am grateful to the people of Kaiserganj. I extend my gratitude to the BJP for making me a candidate… I will file my nomination tomorrow…” he said. Kaiserganj votes on May 20 in the fifth phase of Lok Sabha election. The last date of filing nomination is Friday.

The president of WFI for over a decade, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh hit headlines early last year when the country’s top wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshee Malikkh, accused him of sexually harassing women wrestlers and staged a massive protest in the national capital.

Meanwhile, the ruling party also named Dinesh Pratap Singh as its candidate from Raebareli, the constituency hitherto held by the former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who won from the Gandhi family bastion five consecutive times. This time she has opted for the Rajya Sabha and was elected unopposed from Rajasthan last month.




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