Following the Karnataka Assembly election results, protesting wrestlers at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi have attributed BJP’s defeat to the party ignoring the plea of women wrestlers. The wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat, have been protesting against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s alleged sexual harassment and exploitation of women wrestlers. One wrestler, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that the BJP-led central government must listen to people’s concerns and keep their egos aside. “The Karnataka result is the curse of women wrestlers,” the wrestler added.
Another wrestler accused Brij Bhushan of roaming freely despite serious allegations against him because of his political connections and vote bank. “Olympic medallists are sitting here, and the government of India is least bothered,” the wrestler said. Seven women, including a minor, have filed FIRs against Brij Bhushan as well as Tomar, the federation’s assistant secretary. The wrestlers had earlier agreed to end their sit-in protest after assurances from the Sports Ministry and the formation of the oversight committee but returned to the Jantar Mantar due to lack of progress in the case.