‘Focus on sports’: CM Khattar advises athletes to avoid politics amid WFI row | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Focus on sports’: CM Manohar Lal Khattar advises athletes to avoid politics amid WFI polls row

Dec 24, 2023 08:11 AM IST

The Haryana CM said the election of new WFI chief took place democratically and that the players should have accepted the results.

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Saturday advised athletes to focus on sports and “not get stuck in the political circle”. Referring to the recent election of former Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's close aide Sanjay Singh as the new chief of the country's sports governing body, Khattar said the election process went on democratically and that the players should have accepted the results.

CM Manohar Lal Khattar (HT Photo)
CM Manohar Lal Khattar (HT Photo)

“Players should focus more on sports. The issue that came up regarding association is encircled by politics. Elections take place democratically so now they should accept it,” CM Khattar said.

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Also read: On Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, new WFI chief says, 'Those who are athletes...'

The Haryana CM's statement comes after star wrestler Sakshi Malik announced she was quitting the sport after Sanjay Singh was elected WFI chief. The recent election results were not received well by ace grapplers including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia along with Malik who accused now-deposed WFI chief and BJP MP Sharan Singh of sexual harassment.

Sakshi Malik was the face of the wrestlers' protest against the former WFI chief. Emotional and distraught seeing Sharan Singh's aide winning the elections, the Olympic medalist broke down while addressing a press conference on December 21. She put her shoes on the table at the press conference as she announced her decision to quit wrestling.

Following Malik's announcement, Bajrang Punia, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said he decided to return his Padma Shri as a mark of protest against the recent WFI election results.

“I am returning my Padma Shri award to the Prime Minister,” Punia wrote on X and shared a statement.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Singh responded to the row over being close to the BJP MP and said, “Is it a crime to be close to the MP? I always held positions and it has nothing to do with the MP. I was the chief of the wrestling federation of Varanasi before.”

Brij Bhushan earlier exulted after Sanjay Singh was elected to the post and said his dominance over the federation would continue (dabdaba that, dabdaba rahega) like before.

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