West UP BJP chief claims that opposition using wrestlers as weapon; BJP won't protect guilty
The government intends welfare of sportspersons and it is the Opposition which is "using" the protesting wrestlers as "weapon" against the Centre, BJP's western Uttar Pradesh chief Satyendra Sisodia said, underlining that his party will not work to protect anyone guilty.
A group of wrestlers, including Olympians and World Championship medalists, have been protesting against outgoing Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, demanding his arrest on allegations of sexual harassment against seven wrestlers, including one minor. Singh, a BJP Lok Sabha MP, has denied all the charges.
After a meeting with Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, the wrestlers on Wednesday announced suspension of their protest till June 15 the time by which Delhi Police is expected to complete its probe into the sexual harassment allegations.
"Only people engaged in politics are giving this issue a political colour. Our government is definitely with the sportspersons. Investigation agencies are working on the case and whatever report comes out, the BJP will not work to protect anyone (guilty). We do not intend ill for anyone, we want good for our sportspersons, they are our country's pride. We are committed to working towards their welfare. But some people want to make it a political issue," Sisodia reportedly said.
On some farmers' union lending support to the protesting wrestlers, he said, "It's an act of riling up the sportspersons. The Opposition, which has no (political) issue, is using the sportspersons as weapon (against the BJP)."
"All Opposition parties which want to stop the BJP have come together on this issue. I know that farmers are with the BJP but if any farmers' union says anything, then they are free to speak their mind," Sisodia said.
On the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) extending support to the wrestlers' protest, the BJP leader claimed everyone knows that the Tikait family-led farmers' union is backed by the Opposition and "hence it is working with that mindset".
"We say that if you want welfare of farmers, talk to the government. The government is open for talks. But instead they try to make minor issues into sensational issues. We are part of the government, the party definitely takes up the issues with the government. They have only done lip service to farmers but it is Prime Minister Narendra Modi who actually worked for farmers, the daily-wage earners, etc," Sisodia said.