An exclusive survey conducted by CVoter for IANS to gauge public opinion on female wrestlers levelling charges of sexual harassment and molestation against BJP Lok Sabha MP and president of the Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh reveals that a majority of Indians think the protests will have a negative electoral impact on the BJP.
One question in the CVoter survey was: Do you think the BJP will suffer electorally due to the dispute between wrestlers and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh? Overall, about 47 per cent of the respondents think it will suffer very much while another 17.6 per cent think it will suffer to some extent.
In contrast, less than 23 per cent think the wrestlers' protest will have no electoral impact. Close to 54 per cent of the NDA supporters think the BJP will suffer electorally.However, NDA supporters are not happy with the wrestlers taking open support from opposition parties. Close to 51 per cent think it is wrong for the wrestlers to take support of opposition parties.
About 54 per cent of supporters of opposition parties think it is right. Voters seem clearly divided over the issue.Based upon a petition filed in the Supreme Court, the Delhi Police registered a series of FIRs against Singh. One of the FIRs has been filed under the stringent POCSO Act that covers sexual crimes against minors.
A number of wrestlers, including Asian, Commonwealth and Olympic Medal winners like Vinesh Phogat, Sakhshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, initially levelled serious charges against Brij Bhushan Singh in January this year.A committee was set up by the Ministry of Sports to investigate the allegations.
The matter is now also being monitored by the Supreme Court. After a lull, the protests have intensified since April.The protesting wrestlers are demanding the immediate arrest of Brij Bhushan Singh while he continues to claim that he is being framed on false charges.
A large number of opposition parties and civil society groups have backed the wrestlers ever since they resumed their protests in April against inaction by authorities at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. They were arrested while marching towards the new Parliament building on May 28 when it was formally inaugurated and the protest site has since been cleared.