LS polls: BJP replaces Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh with his son in UP's Kaiserganj

"The daughters of the country lost, Brij Bhushan won", said wrestler Sakshi Malik

Karan Bhushan Singh (middle), who has been announced as the BJP candidate from Gonda Lok Sabha seat, being greeted by supporters in Gonda, Thursday, 2 May (photo: PTI)
Karan Bhushan Singh (middle), who has been announced as the BJP candidate from Gonda Lok Sabha seat, being greeted by supporters in Gonda, Thursday, 2 May (photo: PTI)


The BJP on Thursday, 2 May named Karan Bhushan Singh as its Lok Sabha candidate from the Kaiserganj seat, replacing his father and incumbent MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who is facing criminal charges of sexually harassing women wrestlers.

Sakshi Malik on Thursday lashed out at BJP for the party's decision. Top wresters, including Sakshi, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, had accused Brij Bhushan of sexually harassing women wrestlers during his tenure as Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief and sat at Jantar Mantar for months demanding his arrest.

Brij Bhushan is the sitting Member of Parliament from Kaiserganj, and his son now getting the Bharatiya Janata Party ticket for the seat has rankled the protesting wrestlers.

In a post on X Sakshi wrote, "The daughters of the country lost, Brij Bhushan won."

The Rio Games bronze medallist Sakshi, who quit wrestling last year, added that the wrestlers' demand for justice had not been heeded to.

"We all put our careers at stake, slept on the streets for many days in sun and rain. Till date, Brij Bhushan has not been arrested. We were not demanding anything, we were only demanding justice.

"Leave the arrest, today by giving ticket to his son you have broken the morale of crores of daughters of the country. If the ticket goes to only one family, is the country's government so weak in front of one man? Only votes are needed in the name of Lord Shri Ram, what about the path shown by him?" she questioned.

During their nearly year-long protest last year, Sakshi, Bajrang and Vinesh had demanded that none of Brij Bhushan's relatives or close aides should be allowed to contest the WFI elections.

However, the BJP leader's close aide, Sanjay Singh, was unanimously elected as the new WFI chief last December, which led Sakshi to hurriedly organising a press conference hours after the election results were declared and announcing here retirement from the sport.

Both Bajrang and Vinesh themselves did not write anything on X but reposted several comments critical of the BJP move.

The Congress, the TMC and the Shiv Sena have criticised the BJP for the latest move too.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said, "Just when we thought that the Prajwal Revanna scandal had exposed the depths of the BJP’s depravity, they show that there are always new lows for them to fall to. They have now rewarded Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, accused of sexual harassment by many of our women wrestlers, with a ticket for his son."

"This is a party with no moral compass, led by a man whose only anchor is his desire for boundless power," Ramesh said in a post on X, using the hashtags "#ModiMaafiMaango" and "#HaathBadlegaHalaat".

In a post on X in Hindi, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said, "Father Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's ticket to son. Do you talk of giving justice to women like this?"

"You put one's hat on another's head. You are trying to befool public. Shameful," she said.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) also slammed the BJP for giving the Lok Sabha poll ticket to Brij Bhushan Singh's son.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Sagarika Ghose said the BJP dropping incumbent MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh only to field his son from the Kaiserganj Lok Sabha seat in UP is "shameful" and a case of "politics of proxy".

This also shows that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not ready to condemn the "sexual assault" committed by Brij Bhushan Singh, she said.

"That the BJP has given a ticket to Karan Singh, who is the son of its former star MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, is shameful and disgraceful. Mr Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been accused of serious sexual assault by none other than India's Olympic medal winning women wrestlers," she said.

Brij Bhushan Singh, who stepped down from the post amid a raging protest against him over the sexual harassment allegations by women wrestlers, has denied the charges. The Delhi Police has filed a charge sheet against him in the court.

"He has also been accused under the POCSO (Protection of Children from Sexual Offences) Act for sexual offences against children... To give a ticket to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's son is nothing but the politics of proxy. Karan Singh is a proxy for his father," Ghose said.

"It shows that the BJP is not willing to condemn the sexual assault committed by Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh" and its slogans on women empowerment are "hollow", she said.

The BJP's slogans of "Nari Shakti, Nari Samman and Beti Bachao" are all "hollow, shallow, meaningless and bogus", Ghose said and added that "it says it stands for Nari Samman but has given a ticket to a proxy of someone who is accused of serious sexual assault and assault against women".

"Second, BJP says it's against Parivarwad or family politics... What is this but dynastic politics? The fact is, Mr Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's other son is already an MLA. Now, his other son has also got an MP ticket," she said.

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Published: 03 May 2024, 12:01 PM