New Delhi [India], August 12 (ANI): Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj on Thursday said the Delhi government cannot give cash rewards to Commonwealth Games bronze medal winner Divya Kakran as she represents Uttar Pradesh.
His statement came after Indian wrestler Kakran, accused the Delhi government of not giving any kind of help because of which she was forced to move to Uttar Pradesh.
"Player lives in Delhi but has only played for the state till 2016-17. As for respect, CM called her in 2018 respectfully. We can't give her cash rewards as she represents UP but we have always respected her," said AAP MLA over allegations by Divya.
Addressing a press conference, Kakran said, "I moved to Delhi in 2001 and in 2006, I started practising wrestling. I am putting up in Gokalpur for the last 22 years. My father somehow managed to provide me with training for wrestling. I earned money by competing with boys but the Delhi government did not provide any assistance. I went to UP only when our family, suffered and cried a lot due to our financial condition."
Kakran further said she won numerous medals for Delhi.
"In 2011 I won bronze for Delhi. Till 2017, I got 58 medals and all for Delhi. Only Manoj Tiwari came to us and gave me 3 lakh, That money helped me a lot," she said.
She said that had received the Rani Lakshmi Bai award from Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and a cheque of Rs 3,11,000.
Meanwhile, BJP national spokesperson Shahzad Poonawalla said the verbal fight between the AAP government and wrestler Divya Kakran was an insult to athletes, youth, and the Tricolour.
Addressing a press conference held by the BJP, Poonawalla said, "A topic has come to the fore in which the players of the country, the women of the country, the honour of our sisters have been insulted. The sisters of the country, the players of the country, and the national flag have been insulted. I am placing the subject in front of everyone on behalf of the party."
"The only mistake Kakran made that she told the truth to Kejriwal. Our daughter, our sister, who made the country proud, if she spoke the truth, then the entire social media infrastructure of the Aam Aadmi Party got dominant," he said.
Poonawalla also slammed AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj saying, "Earlier AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj questioned the player, who brought laurels to our country, are you not from Delhi? I thought you are from Uttar Pradesh. The player plays under the name of a country's flag, and respects India. CWG people do not sit in the provinces, AAP leaders say that you are not from Delhi, you are from Uttar Pradesh. You show proof, this is the process of asking for proof as they had asked for proof from our jawan. When did the surgical strike happen, proof from the jawan who defended India's flag."
The controversy erupted after, Kakran won bronze in the women's 68 kg freestyle category on August 6 and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal congratulated her. In a reply to Kejriwal's tweet, she expressed disappointment with the Delhi Government highlighting that she didn't receive any help from the state even after residing in the national capital for years.
"I thank Delhi CM from the bottom of my heart for congratulating me on my victory. I have a request. I have been living and practising in Delhi for the last 20 years, but I neither received any prize money nor did I get any help from the state Arvind Kejriwal."
"I request you that I will be felicitated in the same manner you honour other Delhi wrestlers even if they represent other states," she said in another tweet.
The Aam Aadmi Party government responded to Kakran saying it respects all sportspersons but clarified that Kakran currently represents Uttar Pradesh.
Taking to Twitter, Bharadwaj said, "Sister the whole country is proud of you. But I don't remember that you play for Delhi. You have always been playing for Uttar Pradesh. But the player is the country. You do not expect respect from Yogi Adityanath ji. I think the Chief Minister of Delhi will definitely listen to you."
He further said, "Maybe I am wrong, but when I searched, I found that you have always been playing for Uttar Pradesh, not from Delhi state. Today the whole country is proud of you. I pray to God that you go ahead."
In response, Kakran informed that she represented Delhi between 2011 and 2017 and also shared a photo of her certificate as proof.
She further said that if he still does not believe her then she is ready to share other screenshots of her 17 gold medal certificates won for the national capital.
Indian grappler Divya Kakran clinched a bronze medal in the Women's Freestyle 68 kg in the ongoing Commonwealth Games 2022 after defeating Tiger Lily Cocker Lemalie of Tonga.
Kakran defeated Lemalie 2-0 in the bronze medal match. Kakran bagged the medal in only 26 seconds via Victory by Fall. (ANI)