BJP Faces Backlash for Fielding Son of MP Accused of Sexual Harassment

The BJP faces criticism for nominating Karan Singh, son of accused sexual harasser Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, as a candidate in Uttar Pradesh. Top Olympic wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia, have slammed the decision as a tokenistic response to the allegations.

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BJP Faces Backlash for Fielding Son of MP Accused of Sexual Harassment

BJP Faces Backlash for Fielding Son of MP Accused of Sexual Harassment

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is facing criticism for nominating Karan Singh, the son of Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a former Wrestling Federation of India president accused of sexually harassing female wrestlers, as their party, fields, lawmakers, son, polls candidate from Kaiserganj in Uttar Pradesh for the ongoing national elections. Top Olympic wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik, have slammed the BJP's decision as a tokenistic response to the serious allegations leveled against the elder Singh.

Why this matters: This incident highlights the pervasive culture of impunity in India, where those in positions of power are often protected from accountability for their actions. It also underscores the need for meaningful action to address sexual harassment and ensure justice for victims, rather than mere lip service to women's empowerment.

Over the past year, women wrestlers have been protesting against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh's alleged sexual harassment. Despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi's emphasis on "nari shakti" (women's empowerment) and the government's focus on women-led development, the BJP has chosen to field Singh's son rather than taking concrete action against the accused MP. Sakshi Malik expressed her disappointment on social media, saying, "Daughters of the country have lost, Brij Bhushan won. By giving an election ticket to his son, they have shattered the aspirations of the country's millions of daughters." article

The case against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh highlights the culture of impunity that allows men in positions of power to avoid accountability for their actions. Despite the ongoing case against him, Singh has continued to wield significant political influence. In December, his aide Sanjay Kumar Singh was elected to the wrestling federation's office, further demonstrating Singh's clout.

The decision to nominate Karan Singh is seen as a bid by the BJP to retain the Thakur community's vote bank, which constitutes around 7% of Uttar Pradesh's population. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, a six-term MP, has already begun his electoral campaigns in the districts of Gonda, Shravasti, Ayodhya, Balrampur, and Bahraich.

Opposition parties have criticized the BJP's move, calling it a "moral failure" and a reflection of the patriarchal mindset that views women as beneficiaries rather than equals. The nomination of Karan Singh is particularly ironic given the women's reservation bill, which guarantees 33% seats in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for women. Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia wrote on social media, "It is the misfortune of the country that daughters who win medals will be dragged on the streets and the son of the person who sexually exploits them will be honored by giving him a ticket."

The BJP is also facing heat for supporting Prajwal Revanna, a Janata Dal (Secular) MP from Karnataka's Hassan, who ismother, forced, sexual, relations, newaccused of multiple counts of sexual abuse. These cases underscore the need to address the patriarchal mindset that allows individuals accused of sexual harassment to enjoy impunity and continue in positions of power. As wrestler Vinesh Phogat aptly asked,"How many times do victims have to speak up before they get justice?"details, crimes, raise, heat

Key Takeaways

  • BJP nominates Karan Singh, son of accused sexual harasser Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, as candidate.
  • Olympic wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, and Sakshi Malik criticize BJP's decision.
  • Case highlights India's culture of impunity for powerful men accused of sexual harassment.
  • BJP's move seen as bid to retain Thakur community's vote bank in Uttar Pradesh.
  • Opposition parties and wrestlers slam BJP's decision as "moral failure" and "patriarchal mindset".