Haryana MLA Abhay Singh Chautala today responded to controversial BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s “dabdaba” remark soon after the Centre suspended the activities of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
“Jab Hariyane wale khunta dal dete hain to acche acche dabdabe ud jate hain (When people from Haryana intervene, dominance of many are blown away),” the INLD leader said, implying that Olympic bronze medallist Sakshee Malikkh’s post on a recent move in WFI had prompted the Centre’s intervention.
जब हरियाणे आले खूँटा डाल देते हैं तो अच्छे अच्छे ‘दबदबे’ उखड़ जाते हैं।#WrestlingFederation
— Abhay Singh Chautala (@AbhaySChautala) December 24, 2023
Controversial BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who had to step aside as WFI chief following sexual harassment allegations, had welcomed the election of his close aide Sanjay Singh to the wrestling body’s top post. The six-time BJP MP had said his “dabdaba (dominance)” will continue, indicating his stranglehold on the federation.
The election of the BJP MP’s aide and his remarks thereafter drew strong reactions from top wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Sakshee Malikkh, who had led the agitation against him. Ms Malikkh announced her decision to quit the sport and placed her boots on a table during a media interaction. The visuals sparked outrage, with Opposition leaders accusing the centre of shielding the BJP MP.
A day after the election results, Ms Malikkh, who is from Haryana, said in a post on X that while she had quit wrestling, she was worried about women wrestlers who will participate in junior national contests being held at Gonda in Uttar Pradesh. She said the area is a stronghold of the BJP MP. Now imagine what kind of atmosphere the junior women wrestlers will be competing in,” she said in a post on X.
Earlier today, the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports asked WFI to suspend its activities and rapped it for the “hasty” announcement of the junior nationals. The ministry noted that the newly elected body “appears to be (in) complete control of former office bearers in complete disregard to the Sports Code”.
Soon after, INLD leader and MLA put out his response to the BJP MP’s “dabdaba” claim, with the hashtag “WrestlingFederation”.
Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has, meanwhile, claimed that he has retired from wrestling and has distanced himself from activities of the federation, which he led for 12 years. He has said he is busy preparing for Lok Sabha elections due next year.