An exclusive survey conducted by CVoter to gauge public opinion on the protests by wrestlers against BJP MP and president of the Wrestling Federation of India Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh reveals that a big majority of Indians want Prime Minister Narendra Modi to step in and intervene in the issue that has gathered momentum over the last few weeks.
Overall, more than 68 per cent of the respondents want Prime Minister Modi to personally intervene while just 19 per cent are of the opinion that he should not intervene. Three out of every four supporters of opposition parties think that Prime Minister Modi should intervene; the corresponding number for NDA supporters is about 58 per cent.
A related question during the CVoter survey was: Do you think the BJP will suffer electorally due to the dispute between the wrestlers and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh? Overall, close to two thirds of the respondents think that the BJP will suffer electorally to a large or to some extent.
In contrast, just 22.5 per cent think the BJP will not suffer. Even among supporters of the NDA, about 54 per cent of the respondents think the BJP will suffer in electoral terms.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 Sigh 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.