Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of insensitivity towards women and their safety in response to wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia returning their medals.
Taking to X, Gehlot expressed concern over the retirement of Sakshi Malik, a Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist, and Bajrang Punia’s decision to return his Padma Shri award. He emphasized that these actions raise questions about the BJP’s intentions in the fight for justice for women wrestlers. Gehlot wrote, “The malice displayed by the BJP in this matter and the disregard for the demands of the victims is condemnable and sad. This episode is exposing BJP’s insensitivity towards women’s safety.”
Bajrang Punia returned his Padma Shri award on Friday as a protest against the appointment of Sanjay Singh, a confidant of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, as the president of the Wrestling Federation of India.
Sakshi Malik, on Thursday, returned her Olympic bronze medal and announced her retirement during a press conference in Delhi, symbolically placing her boots on the table before the media.
Earlier this year, top wrestlers, including Malik and Punia, had launched an agitation against Brij Bhushan Singh, accusing him of sexually exploiting women wrestlers under his leadership of the Wrestling Federation of India. The matter is currently in court.
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