A new slugfest is developing on the sidelines of the ongoing clash between the top Indian wrestlers and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, President of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
This battle pits two sisters — Asian and Commonwealth Games medallist Vinesh Phogat, who is spearheading the wrestlers’ protest against the alleged sexual harassment of wrestlers by the WFI president, and Babita Phogat, her sister and fellow CWG medallist.
Both sisters fired salvos at each other, advising each other via tweets.
Babita, who was, on demand by the protesting wrestlers, made part of the MC Mary Kom-led Oversight Committee that inquired into the WFI affairs, fired the first salvo tweeting against the protesting wrestlers for allowing representatives of political parties to join their protest.
Said Babita in a tweet in Hindi, which when roughly translated into English said, “Having started from zero and risen to the top, we players are competent enough to fight our own battles. The stage set up by the players should not be misused by those trying to make political mileage. Some leaders are trying to use the players for their own political gains. Players should keep such things in their mind. We don’t belong to one person but to the entire nation.”
Babita sent out her tweet after senior Congress party leader Priyanka Gandhi reached Jantar Mantar on Saturday to support the protesting wrestlers.
In response, Vinesh asked her ‘sister’ not to weaken their movement.
“If you can’t stand for the rights of women wrestlers, then Babita sister, I request you with folded hands not to weaken our movement,” Vinesh said in her tweet.
It is altogether another matter that their elder cousin Geeta Phogat, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, has from the start supported the protesting wrestlers.
The protesting wrestlers have attracted a lot of support from top sportspersons with the likes of Bhaichung Bhutia and Viren Rasquinha tweeting their support for the wrestlers.