WFI elections: Virender Singh Yadav to return Padma Shri award | More sports News

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NEW DELHI: A day after Bajrang Punia gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi his Padma Shri Award back, gold medallist from the 2005 Summer Deaflympics Virender Singh Yadav declared he would follow suit in protest against Sanjay Singh, a close aide of Brij Bhushan Singh, being chosen to lead the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI).
In 2021, Virender Singh Yadav, also known as Goonga Pehalwan, was bestowed with the esteemed Padma Shri Award.Prior to that, in 2015, he received the esteemed Arjuna Award.

Punia protested by leaving the Padma Shri Award on the sidewalk in front of the prime minister’s house on Friday. Punia informed the Delhi Police, “I will give the Padma Shri award to anyone who will take it to PM Modi.”

Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia returns Padma Shri to protest Sanjay Singh’s election as WFI President

In addition to asking famous javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar to weigh in on the ongoing dispute between players and the WFI, Virender announced his decision to return his Padma Shri on X.
“I will also return the Padma Shri for my sister and the daughter of the country, Honorable Prime Minister Shri @narendramodi Sir. I am proud of your daughter and my sister SakshiMalik,” wrote Virender Singh on X.
“But… why…? But I would also request the top players of the country to also give their decision…@sachin_rt @Neeraj_chopra1,” he said in his post.

On Thursday, 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik announced quitting Wrestling following Sanjay Singh’s election as president of the WFI.
Sakshi removed her shoes and put them on the dais before leaving the press conference in tears. “I am dejected and I will not be competing in wrestling anymore,” an emotional Sakshi had said.

The Sports Ministry on Friday said Bajrang Punia’s decision to return his Padma Shri award in protest against Sanjay Singh’s election as Wrestling Federation of India president is a personal one but it will still try to convince him to rethink the move.
“It is Bajrang Punia’s personal decision to return Padma Shri. The WFI elections were held in a fair and democratic manner,” a ministry official told the media.
“We will still try to persuade Bajrang to reverse his decision to return Padma Shri,” he added.
(With IANS inputs)



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