Sports Ministry on Bajrang Punia’s decision to return Padma Shri award: ‘It’s his personal decision’

“It is Bajrang Punia’s personal decision to return Padma Shri. The WFI elections were held in fair and democratic manner,” a ministry official said. PTI

The Sports Ministry has said that it was Bajrang Punia’s personal decision to return the Padma Shri award to PM Narendra Modi, but said that it would try to persuade the wrestler into reversing the move. In a shocking move on Friday, Bajrang had announced via a statement on ‘X’ that he would be returning the Padma Shri award to PM Modi after Sanjay Singh, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh’s aide was elected as Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president.

However, Bajrang was stopped by Delhi Police at Kartavya Path en route to PM Modi’s residence on Friday.

“It is Bajrang Punia’s personal decision to return Padma Shri. The WFI elections were held in fair and democratic manner,” a ministry official told PTI.

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“We will still try to persuade Bajrang to reverse his decision to return Padma Shri,” he added.

But ministry sources said the WFI elections were conducted in a free and transparent manner.

Sakshi Malik, Bajrang and Vinesh Phogat had addressed a press conference after Sanjay’s election in which Sakshi, a bronze medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, announced that she would quit the sport as a mark of protest.

With PTI inputs 

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