The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has said representatives of 360 villages in Delhi, including MLAs and councillors, will visit Jantar Mantar on Wednesday to express solidarity with the wrestlers staging a protest, demanding the arrest of the wrestling federation chief over sexual harassment charges.
Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma alleged that the AAP has plans to hijack the wrestlers’ protest.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, AAP’s Delhi unit convenor Gopal Rai said the wrestlers who brought fame for the country have been braving adverse weather conditions.
The wrestlers have been staging a sit-in since April 23 over allegations of sexual harassment against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a BJP MP from Uttar Pradesh.
“They sat there in heavy rains on Monday. The prime minister has no time to listen to them. The Supreme Court had to direct that an FIR be registered. Even the sports minister is not ready to hear their pleas,” Rai said.
He accused the BJP of maligning the protesting wrestlers.
“They (BJP leaders) are trying to malign the movement. They (wrestlers) were not allowed to put up tents. They were not allowed to install a microphone system. The whole nation is watching. People are supporting them over social media and they are also reaching Jantar Mantar,” Rai said.
Recalling how efforts were made to crush the farmers’ movement against three agriculture laws of the Centre, he said the BJP-led Union government had to bow down before the protesters and repeal the contentious farm laws.
“On Wednesday, representatives of 360 villages, including councillors and MLAs, will visit Jantar Mantar at 11 am to support the protesting wrestlers. A strategy for the movement will also be chalked out. The voices of these players will reach every village,” the AAP leader said.
The protesters have been demanding criminal action against Singh for the alleged sexual harassment and intimidation of seven female wrestlers, including a minor.
In a tweet in Hindi, Verma said, “Big news: At the behest of Arvind Kejriwal, Saurabh Bharadwaj held a meeting at 9 am on Tuesday with Aadil Khan, Durgesh, Neeraj and Sandeep. There is a plan to hijack the dharna of players. Adil has been assigned the task of buying clothes for mats, tents and turbans. After Shaheen Bagh, this. Kejriwal is behind all this.” The Delhi Police filed two FIRs against the WFI president on Friday on allegations of sexual harassment levelled against him by the wrestlers.
The protesting wrestlers had moved the Supreme Court seeking the registration of FIRs against the WFI chief.