Even as the wrestlers’ controversy intensifies in Delhi and the BJP maintains an unexplained silence, the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh – the man in the eye of the storm – apparently has an option charted out for himself.
Singh, according to sources, is willing to cross over to the Samajwadi Party (SP) if the BJP initiates action against him.
He gave an indication to this effect last week when he praised SP president Akhilesh Yadav for not supporting the wrestlers who have been demanding action against him.
“Akhilesh knows the truth. I am being targetted for political reasons. All wrestlers come from a socialist background,” he had said.
The developments on this score have become clearer with the Samajwadi Party asking its media panellists not to “support or oppose” Singh in television debates.
As per the sources, the BJP is unwilling to take a decision on the controversy because it does not wish to upset the “apple cart” in eastern Uttar Pradesh where Singh wields considerable influence.
“Lok Sabha elections are just a few months away and Singh wields influence in at least six to seven Lok Sabha seats, The party has adopted a wait-and-watch attitude and we hope that the controversy will die down soon,” said a senior party functionary.
The Samajwadi Party, on the other hand, will be ready to welcome Singh in its fold if he does decide to join SP.
The SP does not have a Thakur leader of stature and after its relationship with independent legislator Raja Bhaiyya deteriorated, the party is facing a vacuum where Thakur leadership is concerned.
Incidentally, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, who shared a warm rapport with Mulayam Singh Yadav, had joined SP in 2008 after being expelled from BJP for cross voting in favour of the UPA during a confidence motion.
He returned to BJP in 2013.
The road to return to SP will now be smoother for him since his arch rival and SP leader Vinod Singh a.k.a Pandit Singh is no more.
Besides, he has also been acquitted in the Babri demolition case for want of evidence.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)