In a notable development, Rahul Gandhi, a prominent leader of the Congress party, made a visit to the Virender Arya Akhara in Haryana's Jhajjar district, as per reports by Hindustan Times.
This visit took place against the backdrop of a renewed controversy surrounding the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
The controversy unfolded after the sports ministry decided to suspend the WFI following the appointment of Sanjay Singh as its new president.
The move triggered protests from wrestlers, particularly those who had accused the former WFI president, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, of sexual harassment.
Wrestlers, dissatisfied with Sanjay Singh's perceived proximity to Brij Bhushan, expressed their discontent through various means.
In response to the controversy, wrestler Sakshi Malik announced her retirement, Bajrang Punia returned his Padma Shri, and Vinesh Phogat declared her intention to return the Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award.
During his visit, Rahul Gandhi actively participated in exercises with Bajrang Punia and even tried his hand at wrestling, documenting the experience for his YouTube channel.
The issue took on a political dimension as Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had recently visited Sakshi Malik after her retirement announcement.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Brij Bhushan distanced himself from the ongoing WFI controversy, asserting that he retired from wrestling when Sanjay Singh assumed the presidency.
Brij Bhushan clarified that while Sanjay Singh is a close associate, he is not a relative.
He emphasised that any developments within the federation now fall under the jurisdiction of the federation and the government.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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