BJP MP and president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh appears to be wearing the ‘shield of invincibility’ despite strong demand for action against him by wrestlers who are currently in protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. The Delhi Police has filed two cases against him after the Supreme Court ordered them to do so. One of the FIRs is over a complaint of sexual harassment by a minor, filed under the stringent POCSO Act, which gives no scope for bail. Yet the Delhi police have made no efforts to arrest Singh, who insists that he will face an inquiry but will not resign “as a criminal”.
The BJP, that claims to be firm on discipline, has turned a proverbial Nelson’s eye to his behaviour. Much before he took over as WFI President in 2011, Singh was known for his arm-twisting tactics. He entered politics with a vengeance when senior BJP leader L K Advani came to Gonda during the Ayodhya movement. Singh won his first election in 1991, defeating Raja Anand Singh from Gonda.
He was named as an accused in the Babri demolition case which consolidated his pro-Hindu image. He was acquitted along with others in 2020. Singh has been elected to the Lok Sabha six times from Gonda, Balrampur, and Kaiserganj and more than his political acumen, at one point of time, Singh was named in more than three dozen criminal cases. In 1996, when he was in jail, the BJP gave the Lok Sabha ticket to his wife Ketaki Singh and she won with a handsome margin.
The BJP, interestingly, has always given ample political protection to Singh mainly because of the clout he wields in eastern UP and among Rajputs. The party leadership knows that it would lose out on seats if it showed the door to Singh. His brazenness is evident from the fact that during the 2022 Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh, Singh admitted in an interview to a TV channel that he had committed one murder – something that even the most dreaded criminal does not admit on camera.
One can simply not understand Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath turning a blind eye to Singh’s activities. It has to be pressure from the top that is preventing the Chief Minister from turning his bulldozer towards Singh’s kingdom. The fact that no action – not even a word of disapproval – was taken in the matter, has made him even bolder. Singh believes he is invincible and does not fear even his own party leadership. The clout he wields can only be seen to be believed.
With the UP municipal elections already underway, the BJP knows that any action against this powerful MP will be detrimental to party interests. Moreover, with Lok Sabha elections just a few months away, the BJP cannot target Singh. He is any day a more influential Thakur in the state politics even though it is Yogi Adityanath who is recognised as a Thakur leader. And that is reason enough for the BJP to avoid any action against Singh.
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