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Business News/ Politics / News/  'Baahubali': Rahul Gandhi takes dig at PM Modi, shares video of Vinesh Phogat leaving awards on Kartavya Path
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'Baahubali': Rahul Gandhi takes dig at PM Modi, shares video of Vinesh Phogat leaving awards on Kartavya Path

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's statement came a day after World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat returned her two awards to the government. She had left the awards at the Kartavya Path after police prevented her from reaching the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

Wrestler Vinesh Phogat walks with her Arjuna and Khel Ratna Awards, India's highest national sports awards, before leaving them on a pavement near the prime minister's office as a mark of protest, in New Delhi (PTI)Premium
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat walks with her Arjuna and Khel Ratna Awards, India's highest national sports awards, before leaving them on a pavement near the prime minister's office as a mark of protest, in New Delhi (PTI)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi while sharing a video of World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat, wherein she could be seen returning her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award. In a post on X on Sunday, Gandhi said, "The Prime Minister is the guardian of the nation and it hurts to see such cruelty on his part."

Gandhi's statement came a day after Vinesh Phogat returned the two awards to the government. In a letter to PM Modi, the Asian Games gold medallist grappler had said she had decided to return her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award to the government.

Phogat said such honours have become meaningless at a time when wrestlers are struggling to get justice. In her letter posted on X (formerly Twitter), Phogat said that their lives are not like those "fancy government advertisements" that talk about women's empowerment and upliftment.

On Saturday, she attempted to reach the prime minister's office to return her awards but the police stopped her from reaching the Prime Minister's Office (PMO). As a mark of protest, she left the awards at the Kartavya Path and they were later picked up by Delhi Police.

A day after the incident, Rahul Gandhi to to X to share a video of Phogat holding her award and walking down the Kartavya Path, while a police personnel tries to stop her.

Gandhi said, "For every daughter of the country, self-respect comes first, any other medal or honour comes after that. Today, has the cost of 'political gains' derived from a ghoshit baahubali (declared 'strongman') becomes greater than the tears of these brave daughters?"

 

Phogat, along with Olympic medallists Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, had protested against the election of Sanjay Singh as the chief of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Sanjay Singh is a close aide of former WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who had been accused of sexual harassment.

The Sports Ministry later suspended the newly-elected panel for not following the provisions of its own constitution. Acting on the sports ministry directive, the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Wednesday constituted a three-member ad hoc committee to run the day-to-day affairs of the WFI.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Published: 31 Dec 2023, 12:42 PM IST
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