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CWG medallist Divya Kakran once again hits out at Delhi government for lack of support, highlights support provided by UP government

The controversy began when Indian wrestler Divya Kakran stated that she did not get any support from Delhi Government despite promises.

Hours after the BJP slammed the Delhi government over AAP’s mistreatment of CWG medallist Divya Kakran, the athlete addressed a press conference on Thursday to reveal that by the year 2017, she had earned around 58 medals for Delhi. She added that she decided to play for Uttar Pradesh in the year 2018 since the Delhi government did not provide any financial assistance to her.

Indian freestyle wrestler Divya Kakran, who won a Bronze medal in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, shared how she came from a humble background and needed money for survival. She said that there were times when she would have no money even to travel for the competitions. “I would sit next to train toilets and travel in general bogie for competitions. Delhi’s government never helped us. I started wrestling from Uttar Pradesh in 2018”, she said.

The controversy began when Indian wrestler Divya Kakran stated that she did not get any support from Delhi Government despite promises. As Aam Aadmi Party-led (AAP) Delhi Government started to get criticism over the allegations, its MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj tried to claim that Kakran never represented Delhi. In reply to the August 9 tweet of Bharadwaj, Kakran produced certificates to prove she had represented Delhi between 2011 and 2017.

In a tweet, Kakran wrote, “I represented Delhi from 2011 to 2017. This is my certificate from Delhi State. If you still do not believe me, I can upload 17 Gold medal-related certificates as well.” It is noteworthy that she has won over 60 medals including 17 Gold medals in Delhi State Championship.

Divya Kakran had thanked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his wishes on winning a medal at Commonwealth Games 2022 and reminded him that despite the promises made by the Delhi Government, she did not receive any help from the state. Kakran had earlier highlighted the lack of support from the Delhi Government in 2018 as well.

Quoting Kakran, Bharadwaj added screenshots of news reports that pointed to Divya Kakran representing her home state Uttar Pradesh. He wrote on August 7, “The whole country is proud of you sister. But I do not remember that you play for Delhi. You have always been playing for Uttar Pradesh. But the player is of the country. You do not expect respect from Yogi Adityanath Ji. I think the Chief Minister of Delhi will listen to you.”

In her press conference, Kakran also expressed gratitude towards the Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government saying that her efforts were recognized by the state who awarded her with Rani Lakshmibai Award. “In 2019 UP govt gave me the Rani Laxmi Bai award. In 2020 they gave me a life-long pension. Yesterday, they announced Rs 50 lakh & a gazetted officer rank post. UP govt helped me, even the Haryana govt did. But Delhi never came to help”, she reiterated.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla criticized the Delhi government for insulting the athlete. “It’s an insult to athletes, the youth, and the Tricolour. Whether it’s a stadium or a battlefield, people fight for the glory of Tiranga. Asking (wrestler) Divya Kakran where she is from is an insult to the athlete. CM Kejriwal did not even deign to disavow Saurabh Bharadwaj”, he said addressing a press meeting on August 11.

Lashing out further at AAP leader and chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj for doubting Kakran’s claims and humiliating her, the BJP spokesperson demanded that the leader be sacked. He said this was the same modus operandi of the Aam Aadmi Party when they asked for proof of surgical strikes in Pakistan and today they are asking for proof from a player who has brought laurels to the country.

Divya Kakran bagged the bronze medal in the Asian Games in the year 2018, won a gold medal in the 2020 Asian Wrestling Championship, and recently made India proud by bagging bronze in the 68-kg category in the commonwealth games 2022.

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