New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had demonstrated his Jiu-Jitsu skills while engaging in a martial art bout with wrestler Bajrang Punia during his visit to the Virendra Akhara in Haryana’s Jhajjar district amid the row over Wrestling Federation of India elections.
Gandhi had a practice session with the wrestlers and displayed the Japanese martial art skills to them during the early morning visit on Wednesday.
In a video uploaded by Bajrang on ‘X” on Thursday, Gandhi can be seen showing the ‘locks’ and ‘chokes’ technique in Jiu-Jitsu as he pinned Olympic Games bronze medallist Bajrang down on the mat. Jiu jutsu is a Japanese martial art form and a close combat sport.
The former Congress president also learnt some of the wrestling moves such as ‘dhobi pachaad’ and ‘dhak’ with Bajrang also explaining him the difference between wrestling on the mud and on mat.
Gandhi also had breakfast with the wrestlers. He had milk, “Bajre Ki Roti” and “saag” and was also offered some locally-grown vegetables which he took along with him.
“Today Rahul ji came to our akhada and we felt really good, he came to see how the wrestlers live and train and everyone was very happy,” Bajrang said in the video.
“He (Gandhi) said he practices Jiu-Jitsu, he was telling us the moves and how it starts and I showed the basics of our game like ‘dhobi pachaad’ and ‘dhak’.”
Gandhi’s visit came a few days after Bajrang returned his Padma Shri on Friday in protest over Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh-loyalist Sanjay Singh’s election as president in the WFI polls last week.
“If we don’t raise the voice of our daughters and such people continue to curb them, then no daughter or sister will be able to raise their concerns in future in our country,” Bajrang said.
“I didn’t wan’t to leave it (Padma Shri).. if our sisters and daughters are not safe then what I will do with these laurels. They are our pride, if they are safe then we will get our pride on its own.”
On December 21, Sanjay was elected as the WFI president as the panel led by the close aide of Brij Bhushan won 13 of the 15 posts. The wrestlers had demanded that no close associate of Brij Bhushan should enter the WFI administration.
Following the election, Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik announced that she would quit the sport, while World Championship medallist Vinesh Phogat returned her Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award to the government in protest against Sanjay’s election.
Bajrang, Vinesh and Sakshi had led the five-month-long protest of wrestlers at Jantar Mantar after accusing former WFI chief Brij Bhushan of sexually exploiting several women grapplers.
Hours after getting elected as WFI President on Thursday, Sanjay Singh had announced that age group national championships will be held from December 28 in Gonda, UP.
It prompted the Sports Ministry to suspend the newly-elected panel for not following the provisions of its own constitution while taking decisions and also asked the IOA to constitute an ad-hoc panel to manage the affairs of the sports body.