Press Trust of india

WFI suspension: Mamata accuses Centre of letting down wrestlers; BJP hits back

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Kolkata:  Expressing concern over the suspension of WFI by United World Wrestling, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee accused the central government of disregarding the nation’s wrestlers, prompting criticism from the BJP, which raised doubts about whether TMC was placing “politics above national interest.”

UWW, the world governing body for wrestling, has suspended the Wrestling Federation of India for not conducting its elections on time.

The development will not allow Indian grapplers to compete at the upcoming World Championships under the Indian flag.

“I am shocked to learn that UWW has suspended the Wrestling Federation of India,” Banerjee said on X, formerly Twitter.

Holding that it is a matter of “grave embarrassment” for the whole nation, she wrote, “The central government has let down our wrestlers by being shamefully arrogant and by being cavalier and dismissive towards the plight of our wrestler sisters.”

“The Centre and BJP have kept on harassing our indomitable sisters with misogyny and crude male chauvinism,” she said on the microblogging site.

Banerjee also said India should “stand against and punish those who are left with no moral compass and who cannot stand up for the dignity of the nation’s fighting daughters”.

“The day of reckoning is not too far,” she wrote.

TMC Rajya Sabha party leader Derek O’Brien said the disgrace has been brought by a BJP MP and backed by the saffron party’s top brass.

“On one hand, there is so much joy; our hearts are filled with joy. Congratulations to our champions, the ISRO scientists. And on the other hand, we have international disgrace brought upon us by a BJP MP backed by the BJP top brass. The world wrestling body has thrown the Indian federation out of the body. What a shame! We are disgusted,” he said.

Reacting to TMC’s reaction, the BJP wondered whether Bengal’s ruling party was happy with the decision of the International Wrestling Federation and whether they could now use it to score some political brownie points.

“The TMC is very happy with the decision. This only reflects their mindset of politics above national interest. Such statements are shameful,” BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.

Originally, the WFI was to hold elections on May 7, but the sports ministry declared the process null and void.

The elections have been delayed several times, with multiple disgruntled and disaffiliated state bodies moving the court, seeking the right to participate in the polls.

The Indian women’s team at the recent U-20 World Championship in Amman had won the team title for the first time in Indian wrestling history ahead of powerhouses like Japan and the US.

The Asian Championship was moved out of the country due to a controversy surrounding the outgoing WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh, who has been accused of sexually abusing several women wrestlers.

The case is already before a Delhi court.

 

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